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Sheriff’s Office: Nassau County teen dies after shooting during drug deal

3 teens in custody after deadly shooting of West Nassau High School football player

CALLAHAN, Fla. – A 16-year-old West Nassau High School football player got into a confrontation during a drug deal Monday afternoon before he was shot and killed, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office said.

Family and friends identified the teen as Trent Fort.

Undersheriff Roy Henderson said three teens are in custody connected to the shooting and charges are expected later Tuesday. He did not release their names.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the teen who was killed was in a car with four other teens stopped at a stop sign in the Spring Lake Estates neighborhood off Lem Turner Road about 4:30 p.m. Monday when he got into an argument during a drug deal and was shot in the chest.

One of the other teens called 911 as they drove Fort to West Nassau High School -- about 8 minutes away -- to meet the rescue unit. He was rushed to UF Health in Jacksonville, where he later died.

Henderson said the victim and shooter go to school together at West Nassau High.

Henderson said the teen believed to have pulled the trigger was taken into custody at the McDonald’s in Callahan and that teen’s brother was tracked to a wooded area in the Spring Lakes Estates neighborhood. He said authorities were able to talk the second teen out of the woods and took him into custody. They later found the 9mm handgun involved in the shooting in the woods, he said.

Henderson said they were called to the wooded area after a domestic call involving the grandfather of the shooter, who had been attacked by the shooter’s brother and another teen.

Henderson declined to provide information about when and where the third teen was taken into custody.

A call made to 911 was obtained Tuesday by News4Jax.

Dispatch: “Who shot him?”

Caller: "We don’t know. They came up to the car and shot him."

Dispatch: “Were they in a car? Were they on foot?”

Caller: “No. We were going to pick up our friend and he ran up to our car and shot him.”

Dispatch: "So, someone ran up to your car and shot him?"

During the call, the dispatch operator appears to become frustrated as the caller seems to be distracted.

Dispatch: “Sir, I need you to talk to me and not each other. OK? We’ve got to have these questions answered. Who went up to the car?”

Caller: (inaudible)

Dispatch: “We’ve got em all coming to you. I need to know right now if he’s still there.”

Caller: “No ma’am. No ma’am.”

Both the accused shooter’s brother and the third teen will be charged with felony battery on a person over 65. The brother will also be charged with possession of a firearm with an altered serial number, possession of a firearm by a minor, tampering with evidence. He could also face a charge of accessory after the fact to second-degree murder.

He said the 17-year-old shooter has a prior gun charge. He will face charges of violation of probation, possession of a firearm of a delinquent minor and then eventually could face a charge of second-degree murder.

Henderson said there's still a lot investigators are trying to piece together about what happened. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Detective Mark Murdock at 904-548-4067.

Security was increased Tuesday at West Nassau High School after a deadly shooting off campus Monday afternoon.
Security was increased Tuesday at West Nassau High School after a deadly shooting off campus Monday afternoon. (WJXT)

Increased security at high school

Students at West Nassau High School arrived to increased security Tuesday, and Henderson said that will continue for the rest of the week.

He said the decision was made to increase law enforcement presence before the teens involved were taken into custody out of concern of potential retaliation.

“We definitely want to prevent that at the school,” Henderson said.

The district issued a statement Tuesday:

“The Nassau County School District is saddened by the off campus, student involved shooting that occurred late yesterday afternoon that resulted in the loss of a student’s life. We extend our deepest sympathy and support to the student’s family. There will be an increased law enforcement presence on campus today. While we have no reason to believe that there is any threat to our students, we will proceed with an abundance of caution to ensure our students and staff are safe and that everyone receives the support they need.”

Nassau County School District

The school posted a notice to parents on Facebook Monday night, saying that counselors would be on campus Tuesday for students who need them.

School staff could be seen searching backpacks, purses and other belongings as students entered the building Tuesday.

Student drivers were also asked to come into the building as soon as they arrived Tuesday.

“Students will not be allowed to linger in the parking lot,” the notice said.

Students were also asked not to arrive to campus before 8:30 a.m.


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