Multiple teens charged after 19-year-old falls through gym skylight
Friends say group was shooting music video on roof at Buchholz High School
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – After a 19-year-old was seriously injured Friday in a fall through a high school gymnasium skylight in Gainesville, deputies charged several teenagers with trespassing on school grounds.
Friends identified the 19-year-old as Chadd Shanks and said he's recovering remarkably well after the 40-foot fall at Buchholz High School left him with fractures and injuries to his back that required a six-hour surgery.
Shanks was up and walking at the hospital Sunday and is expected to be released in three to five days, friends said.
“I’ve been talking to his family, so hopefully he’s going to get better,” Joelle McKinum said. “He’s already in good shape.”
Investigators said a group of at least eight people was captured on surveillance video at the high school during Friday's district wrestling tournament. Friends told News4Jax that the group -- which included three Buchholz High students, two charter school students, a Gainesville High student and another unidentified person -- was shooting a music video on the roof of the school's gym.
One of the people on the roof tossed a phone onto the higher skylight section of the roof and when Shanks and several others went to get it back, Shanks came crashing through one of the skylights, authorities said.
Sharyn Gonzalez, whose son wrestles for Fleming Island High School, captured the scary moments on cellphone video.
She was recording her son, a sophomore, as he competed in one of the final matches of the District 1-3A tournament at Buchholz High. Shanks can be seen in the corner of the video slamming into the floor as debris from the ceiling scatters onto people nearby.
Fleming Island Assistant Coach Garius Dornes, who was hit in the head by ceiling debris, said he’s thankful the teen landed on a gym mat because if the mat wasn’t there, he thinks it could have been a deadly fall.
“Once he hit the ground, he was trying to move, but you could see in his eyes, he couldn’t say anything,” Dornes said. “He could barely move. We just told him, 'Don’t move. Just stay still. We don’t want nothing to happen.'”
A Fleming Island wrestler was also injured by falling debris, but he and Dornes are both OK.
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office said two 18-year-olds -- Kieran Sexton and Brycyn White, a former Buccholz High student -- two 17-year-olds and two 16-year-olds are all charged with second-degree misdemeanor trespassing on school grounds in connection with the incident because they were on school grounds after hours without permission.
Friends said the three Buchholz students involved have been suspended.
Deputies said Shanks will also be charged with trespassing once he's out of the hospital. The eighth person believed to be involved has not been identified yet, deputies said.
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