Army veteran helps rescue student during Seminole High School shooting

Kyle Graff said he started at the school in 2019

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – A Seminole High School security guard said his training from the United States Army helped him jump into action during a shooting at the school on Jan. 19.

Kyle Graff said he started at the school in 2019 and also helps coach the football team.

He said seeing students at school and on the field helps him get to know them. Graff’s goal is to be able to identify any issues the student may be going through.

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He was at the high school when the shooting occurred. Graff heard his boss talk over the radio system.

“I could hear in the tone that something was wrong. So, I just took off running to where everyone was running from,” Graff said.

Before working for Seminole County schools, Graff said he served 10 years in the army.

“It was all instinct and just training (children) and at that point. It’s just second nature. Go in, go clear the building with the police officers that are there because we are the first ones on the scene, so we don’t know what we are getting into,” Graff said.

Without being armed, Graff said he ran into the building where he found Jhavon McIntyre, 18, suffering from three gunshot wounds.

Graff said he reflects back to that day, he feels encouraged to continue building trust with the students at the school, to help prevent another shooting.

“Just to be around the football (players) because you know I coach football, so I to build that relationship with the (students) is way bigger than football in itself. It just makes coaching that much easier,” Graff said.

Sanford Police said Da’Raveius Smith, 16, has been charged with the shooting. Law enforcement said the shooting was a result of an isolated dispute between the two students.

About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.