ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The teen hospitalized after a shooting at Wekiva High School last week was an innocent bystander, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said in an update Wednesday.
“Detectives do not believe that the suspect or suspects were targeting the school or any event at the school. Rather, they were targeting a specific person,” Mina said in the briefing Wednesday. “The young person that was shot was not the intended target.”
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The announcement comes after deputies responded to the Orange County school Friday night after a basketball game. Upon arrival, deputies said they found a teen who was shot and transported him to the hospital, where he remains in stable condition with serious injuries.
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As a result of the shooting, Mina said on Wednesday the sheriff’s office will be providing additional resources at future sporting events to ensure everyone feels safe.
“As sheriff, there’s nothing that is more important to me than the safety of our children at schools and I know that anytime there’s violence or a shooting near our schools or our school grounds that our community and especially parents are scared and shocked,” he said.
The school district added there would be heightened security at Wekiva High School until further notice.
While Mina said “shootings on school grounds in Orange County jurisdiction are actually pretty rare,” this investigation also follows 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.
“Unfortunately, we do have a very small percentage of young people in our community that are carrying guns and are not afraid to fire into a crowd,” the sheriff said. “And so any time that we arrest young people, no matter what their age, they need to be held accountable.”
He added that investigators are still looking for people to come forward with any information on the Wekiva High School shooting.
Anyone with information can call Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477 and students can also reach out through the SpeakOut Hotline and social media apps.
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