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High school student commits suicide during school fire drill

A Florida teen is dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in what authorities are calling a “planned” suicide during a fire drill at his high school.

The New York Post reports that Seth Sutherland, 17, fatally shot himself during a scheduled fire drill at Lake Mineola High School on Tuesday.

Lake County sheriff’s spokesman John Harrell told News 6 that a fellow student found the body of the senior in a courtyard on school property during the Tuesday morning fire drill. Authorities said that Sutherland shot himself in an area away from where the fire drill was happening, though some students did report seeing the body.

“(The courtyard near the bus loop) 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.”

Harrell also said that Sutherland appears to have planned the suicide, and sent messages on social media to friends and family before taking his own life. He also reportedly posted on Snapchat, implicating some individuals for pushing him to suicide.

“We have reasons to believe that this was a planned event,” Harrell said.

Isaiah Vargas, a 16-year-old junior, told the news station that he witnessed the horrifying even through a window.

“The body was just lifeless. Teachers were running and everything, saw it through the window. Just terrible,” Vargas said.

Authorities have not revealed any stated motive for the suicide, and said they are unclear on how Sutherland was able to get a handgun into the school.

“That’s part of what we’re going to be looking at — how this happened,” Lake County School district communications officer Sherri Owen told News 6.

“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.”

 

[Feature image: Facebook/Seth Sutherland]