A “depressed” 15-year-old freshman shot himself in the head Tuesday during English class at a Florida high school, authorities said.
About 20 fellow students were in the room, according to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.
The unidentified boy was airlifted to a Tampa hospital and is in critical, but stable, condition, Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said.
Lecanto High School was immediately put on lockdown, but reopened in the afternoon after deputies collected a 9mm handgun and determined there was no danger to other students.
The students in the ninth-grader’s classroom received counseling later in the day.
It was not clear who owned the handgun, authorities said.
“Our first goal was to eliminate the threat, and make sure the campus is secure, and that’s exactly what we did,” Dawsy told journalists at press conference on the school grounds.
It was not clear what caused the boy’s depression, deputies said.
“This could have gone many different ways … but thankfully no one else was injured,” the sheriff said.
"This is an individual facing great despair. I don't understand how, at the age of 15, you can become this depressed, but it's not uncommon,” the sheriff said. “I think, as a community, we need to figure out how to reach out to this person."