No evidence of bullying in Lake Minneola student's suicide, deputies say

Gun was stolen from family friend before shooting

Seth Sutherland
Seth Sutherland

MINNEOLA, Fla. – A Lake Minneola High school student who fatally shot himself Tuesday during a pre-planned fire drill was not bullied before his death, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said they examined 17-year-old Seth Sutherland's social media platforms and spoke to his friends and loved ones and found no evidence to suggest that he was being bullied.

Sutherland posted on social media before his death, sending private messages to his loved ones to say goodbye and posting a separate public message on Snapchat condemning people he believed contributed to his actions, according to authorities.

Sutherland left a letter at his home where he detailed his four-year struggle with depression, a news release said.

“I don’t want anybody to think this was anyone’s fault. I loved each one of you so much,” Sutherland wrote in the letter, which was provided to News 6 by authorities.

He wrote of reaching his "breaking point." 

The gun Sutherland used at the Lake Minneola High School bus loop Tuesday morning was black 9 mm Glock that was stolen from a family friend's home either Saturday or Sunday, the news release said.

The family friend said she was concerned after hearing news of Sutherland's suicide because he had been at her house a few days prior, doing work to earn extra money on Saturday then spending the night there. She noticed after his suicide that the gun and its lock had been stolen from the case where it had been kept secured.

A vigil for Sutherland is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Better Life Worship Center in Clermont.

If someone is exhibiting warning signs of suicide they or someone they know can call the U.S. National Suicide prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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