Students return to Forest High School days after on-campus shooting
Superintendent urges campus community to remain strong
OCALA, Fla. – Hundreds of students filled the hallways at Forest High School Monday, days after a shooting Friday morning sent one student to the hospital and 19-year-old Sky Bouche to jail.
Marion County Schools Superintendent Heidi Maier said she still hasn't fully processed Friday's shooting.
"It was a numbing, chilling type of phone (call) that I received that morning," Maier said. "I haven't really reflected back to it that deeply, but I can remember going into autopilot and trying to get all the information necessary to start making decisions and start to respond to the situation appropriately."
The victim in Friday's shooting hasn't returned to class, but Maier recently spoke to his mother.
"I talked to his mom last night and he's ready to come home. Maybe he came home. We'll respect his privacy right now and let mom talk when she's ready," Maier said.
The victim's family didn't want to make a comment.
Friday, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods commended Forest High School Resource Officer Deputy Jim Long.
But, there was another hero who met Bouche face-to-face before help arrived: teacher Kelly Panasuk.
She talked with Bouche minutes before help arrived.
According to the school's website, she started teaching at the school in 2008.
She was set to speak with the media about her interaction with Bouche, but the state attorney's office requested to speak with her before she spoke to the media.
"We have got a great team of people and we keep saying Forest Strong. Marion County Strong. We're a family here in Marion County and we are going to take care of each other," Maier said.
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