Student Suspended After Disarming Gunman: Why Was Florida Teen Punished For Heroic Act? [VIDEO]
The student who was suspended after disarming a gunman in Florida last week said that he "did what he had to do," according to WFTX-TV.
The 16-year-old student from Cypress Lake High School in Fort Myers, who isn't identified because of fears for his safety, wrestled a loaded .22 caliber RG-14 Revolver on a bus ride home away from another 15-year-old student, a football player, who witnesses said threatened to shoot a teammate because he had been arguing with his friend. Nevertheless, the student was suspended after disarming the gunman because he was part of an "incident" where a "weapon was present" and was "uncooperative" with school officials and law enforcement during their investigation, according to a referral sent to the family.
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The student said that he was interrogated for four hours, admitting to withholding information from authorities and telling them that he "wasn't sure" if there was a gun on the school bus because he didn't want to be seen as a as a rat and was scared to get killed.
The police report of the incident said that "several other students" helped disarm the gunman who was "pointing the gun directly" at the victim and "threatening to shoot him." However, those students weren't suspended because they cooperated with the investigation. The gunman and an accomplice were suspended.
The student who had the gun pointed at him said that he's still shaken and recalled the gunman telling him that he was "going to shoot and kill" him. If not for the student who was suspended for disarming the gunman, he said he would be dead.
"I would have probably been the next murder and counting in the city," the victim said.
"He was going to shoot him," said the student who was suspended after disarming the gunman. "Point blank. He raised the gun again, [and] that's when I jumped him and we started fighting for the gun. And I got it from him."
School board member Don Armstrong said he stood by the decision to suspend the student who disarmed the gunman, but said three days may have been excessive.
"I stand behind if a student lies," said Armstrong, "there's got to be consequences. [But,]I know that he saved a student's life and he's a hero, period. That suspension needs to be expunged off his record."
The student's mother also backed him fervently.
"My son did a very courageous thing on that bus," she said. "Without him and some other students there would have been some fatalities."
The student who disarmed the gunman returned to school on Monday.
The gunman was charged with possession of a firearm on school property and assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.
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