Sheriff: 'This could have gone many different ways, but thankfully no one else was injured'

By Jeff Truesdell
November 11, 2015 04:25 PM

A high school freshman survived after shooting himself in the head in front of other students in his English class Tuesday morning, the Citrus County, Florida, Sheriff’s office said.

“By the grace of God, even though it was a horrific event, only one individual was injured,” Sheriff Jeffrey Dawsey told reporters at a news conference.

The student, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital in Tampa and is in “critical but stable” condition, the sheriff said.

“Surprisingly he was alert and appeared to be cognizant of what was going on around him,” Dawsey said.

Deputies quickly assessed that the student was not acting in concert with others.

“I don’t foresee any charges coming out of this,” said Dawsey. “This is an individual that’s in great despair. At the age of 15, I don’t understand how you can become this depressed, but it’s not uncommon.”

“Us as a community need to figure out how to reach out to this person,” he added.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Police say they do not know how the student obtained the gun.

The shots-fired call came at around 10:30 a.m., and police quickly responded. Subsequently, the school was placed on lockdown.

School Superintendent Sam Himmel said classes already were scheduled to be canceled today due to Veteran’s Day, but that the school would reopen on Thursday.