OVIEDO, Fla. – Oviedo High School students were rushed out of their homecoming dance Saturday due to unconfirmed rumors that someone showed up with a gun, according to the school’s principal.
Principal Dr. Trent Daniel said when the student was not initially allowed inside the dance, rumors soon went around that the individual was armed, but he said that no gun was found during a campus search by the Oviedo Police Department.
Seminole County Public Schools, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and Oviedo police issued a joint statement Sunday to students’ families, telling them to expect counselors and “an extra law enforcement presence” at the school on Monday.
“The sole individual involved was apprehended and arrested. No weapon was found,” the statement said. “Additionally, we wish to clarify that no shots were fired and there was no altercation on campus as rumored.”
John Mazzanovich, whose daughter was at the dance, is grateful things were not worse but added his daughter feels that her homecoming dance was ruined.
“She just thought it was different than the balloon pop she heard before,” Mazzanovich said. “They all thought they heard some gunshots, that’s when people started heading towards her. She was at the exit, her and her friends turned around and they were the first ones out.”
The police chief wasn’t available for comment Monday, but the heavily redacted incident report released by Oviedo police said the student arrested was previously suspended from Oviedo high and was ineligible to attend school-related events. The report said witnesses said someone was “observed behaving erratically and handling a firearm causing panic and fear for those in attendance.” But again, Oviedo police say no weapon was found.
Oviedo Mayor Megan Sladek, who said her daughter was in attendance.
“She said that all of a sudden all of the kids just started running away, so she did too,” Sladek said.
She has requested patience from the community until the investigation was complete.
“I think the most important thing is we need to not try to fill in the gaps at this time,” Sladek said. “We need to let law enforcement fill in the gaps and just wait for them to do their investigation and wait for them to come up with what really happened and be grateful that everybody is home and everybody is safe.”
She added that there situations like this could be handled better in the future.
“What I think would be improved upon next time is if we have someone ready to send out messages if anything happens like this again,” she said.
Police said in a tweet Saturday, as well as in the joint statement Sunday, that the investigation is ongoing.
Police say the 15-year-old student who was arrested Saturday faces charges of disturbing the peace and trespassing on school grounds.
Altercation at Oviedo HS tonight and OPD is investigating potential gun shut. No students were harmed and the homecoming dance has been shut down. The students involved are in custody and no students remain on campus. Please contact your student; pickup is at Cross Life Church.— OviedoPolice (@OviedoPD) November 7, 2021