A Florida student fatally shot himself during a school fire drill in what authorities called a “planned event,” according to reports.Authorities said that Seth Sutherland, 17, posted on social media and sent messages to loved ones ahead of the shooting Tuesday outside of Lake Minneola High School, news station WKMG reported.
Sutherland, a senior, also reportedly shared a message on Snapchat blaming certain individuals for his decision to commit suicide.
Deputies said that another classmate discovered the 17-year-old’s body in the school courtyard during the pre-planned fire drill.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Lake County sheriff’s spokesman John Harrell said that the majority of the student population were not exposed to the crime scene.
“We have reasons to believe that this was a planned event,” Harrell told WKMG. “[The crime scene] is out in the open, but it was not a very populated and crowded area at that time. It seems like the majority of the student body was on the other side of the building.”
Some students reported seeing the aftermath of the shooting through windows of the school in Minneola, which is about 27 miles west from Orlando.
“The body was just lifeless,” student Isaiah Vargas told WKMG. “Teachers were running and everything, saw it through the window. Just terrible.”
Lake County school district officials said that they are investigating the incident.
“We’ll be taking a look at this as a school family, the things we can do differently, and I’m sure the individual families will be doing the same,” district communications officer Sherri Owens said.