A 17-year-old Florida teen was arrested Wednesday afternoon for allegedly shooting a 15-year-old classmate in the face.
WKMG-TV reported that the Orange County Sheriff’s Department arrested J-Morian Eddie Patrick Bell in connection with the shooting of Ja’Roderick Smith. Witnesses said the two got into a fight after classes at West Orange High School ended for the day, culminating in Smith being shot in the face and abdomen around 1:25 p.m.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Bell was charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, as well as firearm possession charges. Smith was taken to a local hospital and is listed in stable condition. He is expected to survive.
Another West Orange student, 16-year-old freshman Austin Nornhold, told the Sentinel he didn’t think the altercation was a “real fight” until he saw Bell pull out his weapon.
“I hear about this happening it at other schools,” Nornhold said to the Sentinel. “But I expected it to happen at a place with a lot worse reputation than here .”
Nearly 100 officers responded to the shooting after the school initiated active-shooter protocols, and students were taken by bus to another school, Ocoee High, to be picked up by their parents.
“I want to commend school administrative staff who acted very swiftly,” Orange County school superintendent Barbara Jenkins was quoted as saying. “We think we responded quickly to something that could not be foreseen.”
Watch a report from earlier in the day, as aired on WKMG, below.
[Image: "A .38 Caliber Pistol Stands In Front Of School Textbooks," via Shutterstock]