Security heightened at Wekiva High School after teen shot on campus

Orange County deputies have not released information about victim, suspected shooter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Extra deputies were at Wekiva High School on Monday after a teen was shot on the campus three days ago.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to the school Friday night and found a teen suffering from a gunshot wound in the parking lot near the gym after a basketball game.

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The teen was taken to a hospital in stable condition, deputies said.

Days after the shooting, the sheriff’s office has not released any other information about the victim, the suspected shooter or a motive in the case.

Orange County Public Schools released a statement, saying in part, “Wekiva High School went on a lockdown after (Friday) night’s basketball game following an incident involving gunfire in the parking lot. Law enforcement immediately began investigating. One individual was injured and transported to the hospital.”

The next day, the school sent an Orange Connect message to alert parents about the shooting.

Orange County School Board member Melissa Byrd released the following statement on Facebook after the shooting:

“Once again, I am heartbroken that our children - our babies - have been affected by unimaginable violence in what should be a safe space. As a school board member who lies awake at night worrying about how to keep over 200,000 children safe daily and a mom who sends her baby to this high school everyday, I am completely devastated this morning.

This is not just a school problem, this is a community problem. I am working with our school board and new Superintendent to address discipline concerns within our schools and working to bring community leaders together to discuss violence in our communities and how these issues are spilling into our schools.

We all must take this horror seriously and work together to find solutions so our families do not have to worry about this happening anywhere in our hometown ever again.”

“Devastated, not only as a school board member for one of my schools, but also as a mother, my daughter goes to that school,” Byrd told News 6 Monday.

Orange County Public Schools also released a statement on Monday.

“Orange County Public Schools continually reviews its safety procedures and makes necessary enhancements to provide a safe environment for all individuals on district property. School District Police continue to work closely with local law enforcement in their investigation however, in an effort to maintain a safe environment we cannot disclose specific safety measures that are currently in place. There will be enhanced security at both Wekiva and Edgewater high schools until further notice. The safety of students and staff always comes first.”

Orange County Public Schools

The shooting comes nearly two months after a 19-year-old was killed in a gang-related shooting at a Jones High School playoff football game.

Two teens, a 15-year-old and 17-year-old, were later arrested in December on murder and attempted murder charges.

“The issue is these two incidents happened in the parking lot,” said Byrd. “I think this is a bigger issue that has to be addressed within our community.”

“I’m frustrated that our kids are looking towards violence to solve their problems,” Byrd added.

Byrd told News 6 she’s working with the superintendent to create a discipline task force.

“To help narrow down our discipline and tighten it up within the schools, and we’re also looking at a forum and bringing in community leaders and partnerships,” said Byrd.

She said that forum may help with ideas to find ways to prevent crime in our community. There is no set timeline on when the task force or the forum will happen.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office says off-duty deputies are hired to provide security at school sporting events, and it is up to the school itself to determine how many deputies should be requested.

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About the Authors:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!