Teacher recalls encounter with gunman at Forest High School

Teacher is credited with stopping Sky Bouche in hallway

OCALA, Fla. - – The teacher credited with stopping a gunman inside Forest High School last Friday said she never thought she would be at the scene of a school shooting, let alone confronting the gunman.

Kelly McManis-Panasuk told News 6 she came face-to-face with Sky Bouche in the hallway of Forest High School shortly after she heard the gunshot.

"I don’t think I had time to be scared," she said.  "I just said 'Stop. Stop right there. Don’t move,' and proceeded to ask him questions and talk to him. "I brought him into my room because I needed to call the office and say I had him and he’s not armed anymore. The shotgun was down the hall."

Bouche was taken into custody a short time later.

On Tuesday night, the Marion County School Board recognized McManis-Panasuk.

It also recognized teacher Jennifer Hadden, who was inside the classroom where the shooting happened, as well as basketball coach Spencer Ashely, who ran through the school alerting everyone what was happening.

"It’s true what they say," McManis-Panasuk said. "You never know how you’re going to react until it happens to you, and then you have one second to make those decisions, and you just hope they’re the right ones."

On Tuesday night, Marion County School Board members approved spending $224,000 on 34 additional school resource officers.

They said those 34 officers would staff the district's 34 elementary schools through the end of the school year.

In the meantime, students at Forest High School are planning to honor the first responders who helped them in the moments after the shooting on Wednesday afternoon.

Gov. Rick Scott will soon be in Marion County to honor them.

On Wednesday evening, an event will take place in downtown Ocala for Forest High School, and then on Friday, the entire community is urged to wear green in a show of solidarity for the students and staff at Forest High School.

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.