90ºF

Forest High School teacher credited with calming down accused shooter

OCALA, Fla. – Forest High School teacher Kelly McManis-Panasuk is credited with speaking to and calming down a 19-year-old man accused of bringing a gun hidden in a guitar case on campus and firing it Friday morning.

Sky Bouche is charged with shooting a student in the ankle. He remains in the Marion County jail. 

McManis-Panasuk was set to talk with the media Monday afternoon, but that was halted because the state attorney's office asked to speak with her first. 

Marion County Schools Superintendent Dr. Heidi Maier said McManis-Panasuk is back in the classroom, as is the rest of staff. 

McManis-Panasuk is "very positive, very focused on those kids and that's how our teachers are. Their main priority are those kids, as was evident Friday," Maier said.

On Friday, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods commended school resource officer Deputy Jimmy Long and his quick action in arresting Bouche three minutes after his gun fired. 

But little was said about McManis-Panasuk and her encounter with Bouche before help arrived. 

Lauren Lettlier with the sheriff's office said that's a question for the sheriff directly, who has been out of town for the past two days. 

Maier said she was aware of Long's actions as well as McManis-Panasuk's. 

When asked why she wasn't mentioned in Friday's news conference, she said that was led by the sheriff. 

"We had the press conference and it moved from there and then I shared more things on Monday when it was my press conference," Maier said. 

Reports mention that McManis-Pansuk hit a button to alert someone for help. 

A representative with Marion County schools said the button serves like an intercom. 

Because the school was under a code red, no one could respond. The same goes for anyone trying to call for help using a landline. 

Marion County Sheriff's Office received one 911 call after Friday's shooting. That call cannot be released until the investigation is complete.