51ºF

Student shot in arm at Ribault High School

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A student at Ribault High School was hospitalized Friday afternoon after “a discharge of a firearm” at the school and another student who was found with a gun was arrested, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Duval County School Board police said the incident happened around 2 p.m. The school said the student had non-life-threatening injuries. Ribault’s principal, Gregory Bostic, sent parents a message that the student was shot in the arm.

“My thoughts and prayers goes out to the student who was injured,” Bostic said at a news briefing at the end of the day. “We are thankful it wasn’t more serious.”

Both students were at least 18 years old as police described them as adults. The person with the gun was charged with possession of a firearm on school property, a felony. There may be other charges.

School Board police emphasized this was not an active-shooter situation -- the person holding the gun and victim were both students. The school did not go on lockdown after the shooting.

Police said they were still looking at what led to the shooting and the relationship between the victim and the shooter. JSO is leading the investigation.

Officers at Fletcher High School, which Ribault is playing in a football game Friday night, were aware of the incident and were on high alert.

Bostic said this incident does not represent the students of Ribault High School.

“I’m very disappointed. I can even say I’m angry and mad as well. But, I know what happened today does not represent our students here at John Ribault High School," he said.

He said the school had been using random backpack checks all year, but they will begin using walk-through metal detectors for all students Monday to ensure the students and staff are safe.

“Because of this incident, we will need to implement enhanced security protocols going forward,” Bostic told parents. “This will include mandatory screening of all students using metal detectors."

Pastor John Guns, the pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church of Jacksonville, which is across the street from Ribault, was outraged over what happened.

“The wrong decision was bringing the gun to school. But there is also another wrong decision: Having the gun in your possession. But here’s another wrong decision: Someone gave you access to this weapon. And so at the end of the day, we have to deal with the people who are putting the guns in the hands of our children," Guns said.

Approximately 22-miles east of where the shooting happened, Ribault High’s football team was playing against Fletcher. Extra security was at the game as a precaution.


About the Authors: