On Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, a 15-year-old boy shot himself in the head in front of more than 20 classmates during the second block of classes at Lecanto High School in Lecanto, Florida, according to Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.
The unidentified youth from Homosassa, Florida, used a Walther P1 9 mm semi-automatic handgun that had six rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. Another magazine containing eight rounds was found in a gun case nearby, leading some to question whether the teen intended to shoot others before deciding to shoot only himself; however.
The boy, who survived the attempted suicide, was flown to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa. He remained conscious and in critical condition after the shooting, telling investigators that, despite the ammunition he brought with him, he did not intend to harm anyone else.
On June 23, 2016, Lecanto High School hosted an active shooter drill led by the sheriff’s office. The primary goal, Lt. Dave Vincent told ABC Action News, was to improve communication between sheriff’s deputies and medical responders. It was planned before the June 12 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
Citrus County has 24 public schools comprised of elementary, middle and high schools and a handful of specialized schools and colleges, according to the sheriff’s office. As of Feb. 23, 2018, the district had 14 school resource officers, along with one sergeant and one lieutenant who oversee the School Resource Officer Unit.
“Our agency is in favor of any and all actions necessary to keep the students of Citrus County safe,” Sheriff Mike Prendergast wrote in a Feb. 22, 2018 press release. “If that is expanding the number of school resource officers, conducting more active shooter drills, or facilitating additional enhancements in our schools – then that is exactly what we will do.”
One faculty transfer occurred after the incident, according to Assistant Superintendent Mike Mullen, who said the Citrus County School District continues to work with local law enforcement, parents and students to “review safe school procedures and refine them when necessary.”
“I can only tell you as a district we make student safety a priority,” he wrote in a March 13 email, responding to a question about whether enough was being done to protect students. “[Our] local law enforcement is very supportive of school needs, but we all recognize that we can’t foresee every possible situation that could occur.”