A 16-year-old Florida high school student says he was suspended after disarming a teenage gunman who threatened to open fire on a school bus.
The Cypress Lake High School student, who did not give his name to WFTX, told the Fort Myers-area station that the school suspended him for three days because he was part of an “incident.”
But the student’s mother said the suspension was handed down because the teen refused to cooperate with an investigation into the Feb. 26 incident.
"It's dumb," he told WFTX. "How they going to suspend me for doing the right thing?"
The 16-year-old says he believed he saved lives by disarming the 15-year-old gunman, whom he said pointed the weapon and threatened to shoot another student who attends the Fort Myers school. The suspected gunman was identified as Quadryle Davis by WPTV.
"I think he was really going to shoot him right then and there," the student said, adding that the gunman said he wanted to shoot his teammate on the football team following an argument. "Not taking no pity."
A struggle ensued between the 16-year-old and the gunman, and the suspended student gained control of the .22 caliber RG-14 revolver.
Authorities could not recover surveillance footage from the school bus because the cameras weren’t working.
The suspended student’s mother defended his actions.
"If they wouldn't've did what they had to do on that bus, I think there would have been a lot of fatalities,” she told WFTX. “Those kids had to fight for their lives. All the kids that was involved in this -- they should have a pat on their backs because they did the right thing to save someone from burying their child."
The school district said in a statement that the district followed the law.
"We cannot discuss specifics involving students," said district spokesman Alberto Rodriguez. "Florida law allows the principal to suspend a student immediately pending a hearing."
The 15-year-old suspect was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill and possession of a firearm on school property, WFTX reported.
The Lee County School district released the following statement addressing the suspension:
"The District has completed its investigation regarding an incident that took place on Feb. 26, 2013, regarding multiple Cypress Lake High School students. The District is unable to comment regarding the specific disciplinary measures taken against specific students,” the statement said. “However, it must be noted that during the initial investigation conducted by the administration of Cypress Lake High School, the students involved refused to cooperate with school authorities regarding the events that occurred. As a result, appropriate disciplinary actions were taken at that time. Subsequently, law enforcement along with school officials have acquired additional information that has provided the complete picture of what occurred that day. Certain students involved have been and will be disciplined in accordance with that additional information consistent with the Code of Student Conduct and Florida law. The District will be making no further comment regarding this matter."
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation was still ongoing.
"The charges presented to [the suspect] are based on our findings at this time,” said Sgt. David Valez.