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Security added at Columbia County schools after teen killed in double shooting

Extra security at Columbia County schools after teen killed
Extra security at Columbia County schools after teen killed

LAKE CITY, Fla. – Columbia County Schools announced Thursday that added security will be in place “for some of our schools” after the district consulted with the Sheriff’s Office following a deadly shooting of a Columbia High School student.

Dionne Leslie, a 17-year-old sophomore at Columbia High, was killed and another juvenile was wounded in a shooting in a Lake City neighborhood.

The district said the Sheriff’s Office does not believe the schools are in danger, but the security is being added as a precaution as the investigation continues.

Deputies said the shooting was reported in the area of Lochlynn Terrace and Putnam Street in Lake City.

On Thursday, the intersection’s neighborhood watch sign was adorned with flowers, candles and black balloons.

This neighborhood watch sign adorned with candles, flowers and black balloons, marks the spot where Dionne Leslie, 17, was shot and killed. The photo was taken on Feb. 4, 2021. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

Deputies said Thursday that the investigation has developed many leads “but has also been hindered by the reluctance of potential witnesses to come forward with information.”

Investigators said they are trying to find 18-year-old Clayton Hopkins (pictured below) for questioning. Hopkins has an active warrant for an unrelated incident, they said, and he might be with a juvenile whose information is not being released.

Clayton Hopkins (Provided by Columbia County Sheriff's Office)

Deputies said they’re also seeking information about an ATV, which they say was being operated nearby at the time of the shooting.

The public is asked to contact detectives at 386-758-1095 with any information on the shooting. People can also submit an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers of Columbia County. Tips may be submitted through the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 386-754-7099 or by submitting a tip online at www.columbiacrimestoppers.net.

Leslie’s high school said counselors were made available for students and staff and support will continue to be provided for Leslie’s classmates.

About the Author:

McLean is a reporter with WJXT, covering education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.