74ºF

Family, students react to school bus shooting

Police: 2 men opened fire hitting 2 girls

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After two men opened fire on a school bus Thursday, the family and students who knew the two girls, one 14, and the other 15, who were shot are trying to make sense of what happened.

Oceana "Yaya" Samuels and Shakayla Singelton were shot after two men walked up to the bus and opened fire.

"The shooting happened at 118 Street and Catoma Street when two black males approached the bus and students saw them approaching and reaching into their waist bands so I believe they probably identified them as gang members because many students then hit the floor when they saw them," News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said. "The bus driver saw them also and before the shots were fired the bus driver took off which was a very good move, he may have saved some lives by doing that.

Daimarr McNeal, a student on the bus, said it was an experience that will be hard to forget.

"I turn my head and the next thing you know I see the girl that got shot started walking to the front of the bus, like her whole face was covered in blood and dripping and stuff," McNeal said.

McNeal's father, Daimarr Harrison, said he's tore between grief and relief.

"I jumped out of my truck and I came here flying trying to make sure he wasn't one of the people that got shot or anything. And I feel a little relief but I'm still sad that the two little babies got shot," Harrison said.

As police were clearing the scene, Samuel's uncle, Melvin Asberry, showed up and said that she had just gotten out of surgery but he wanted to see the place where his niece was shot.

"I mean I just seen her and took her to the store shopping and now she's in the hospital fighting for her life," Asberry said. "That's (her parents) baby. I mean they sent her to school and she come back with a bullet in her head. I mean how would you feel. I mean, you go to get an education and you get shot coming on the way home to get dropped off."

Asberry said his niece is one of two students police said were shot on the bus and it's hard for him to think about that happening to any student, especially his niece.

"She's a sweetheart, I mean she don't mess with nobody. I mean she's the sweetest girl you want to see. I mean if she just got caught in crossfire I guess," Asberry said.

The bullet he said, pierced the back of her head. That's why he's so grateful she's still alive. It's still a bittersweet feeling for Asberry though, because he said it should have never happened in the first place.

"I mean, when is this stuff going to stop? I mean it's ridiculous that kids can't even go to school no more. I mean really? I mean when is it going to stop?" Asberry said.