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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

High school shooter identified; school resource officer praised for quick actions

Sky Bouche

Marion County Dep. Jimmy Long is being hailed as a hero for his quick actions in arresting 19-year-old Sky Bouche during a school shooting at Forest High School in Ocala on Friday morning.
Bouche, a former Forest High student who gave law enforcement officials a Crystal River address, has been charged with terrorism, aggravated assault with a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, possession of a short-barreled shotgun,
possession of a firearm on school property, armed trespass on school property, interference in school function and culpable negligence. He is being held at the Marion County Jail without bond.
Shortly before being transported to the jail late Friday afternoon, Bouche said he shot at the bottom door of a classroom and was sorry for his actions.

Marion County Deputy Jimmy Long

Meanwhile, Sheriff Billy Woods said Long’s quick actions at the school, located at 5000 SE Maricamp Road, thwarted what could have been a much worse situation – one that took place on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School attack.
Woods said that Long heard a shot ring out shortly after 8:30 a.m. He said Long and the school’s principal, Brent Carson, ran to the second floor where they found a 17-year-old victim with a non-life-threatening shotgun wound on his ankle. Woods said Long then spotted Bouche and took him into custody without incident.
“That man, in my eyes, is a hero,” Woods said of the 25-year deputy who has been a school resource officer at Forest High for 10 years. “Less than three minutes after hearing a gunshot, he took the suspect into custody. And the principal followed that deputy, doing what he needed to do to protect the students he is responsible for.”

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods

Woods declined to identify the victim, but he said the wounded student is expected to make a full recovery. And like Long, Woods said the student is a hero.
“I sent my chief deputy over to visit him and during their conversation, he said, ‘I am glad it was me and not one of my friends,’” Woods said. “His parents should be very proud of their son because they have done something right with him.”
Woods also praised the many officers and deputies from throughout the Central Florida area who came to help, as well as Marion County Fire Rescue, nearby hospital personnel who were prepared for the worse and school administrators, teachers and students who quickly followed active-shooter protocol.
“Hundreds came and did not hesitate to enter that school to find the shooter,” Woods said. “And it wasn’t just law enforcement. Fire Rescue was there to help get victims out. Hospitals were prepared. And school officials and students made sure the doors were locked” and took other actions such as piling desks, shelves and cabinets against the classroom doors.
Woods added that it was a particularly difficult day to handle such a situation on the heels of two deputies being gunned down and killed in nearby Gilchrist County on Thursday.
“My emotions are running rampant,” he said, adding that he spent more than six hours with Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz on Thursday. “I’m angry. I’m sad and I want to do something. And we will do something and we are doing something. That’s evident of the success of the actions of the first responders here today.”