Just as students readied to walk out as part of the national anti-gun violence protest in Ocala, Florida, a student was shot in the ankle.
After the incident, school walkouts were canceled in Marion County, CNN reports.
The 17-year-old victim was shot at 8:39 a.m., Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods told reporters. Just three minutes later, the school resource officer, Deputy Jimmy Long, had the 19-year-old suspect in handcuffs.
The Forest High School student, who was a victim in this incident, was not seriously injured and was promptly taken to the hospital for treatment.
"It's a shame what society has come to in that we even have to be here on a school campus," Woods said. "Society has changed since I was in school. ... We as a whole need to do something. My emotions are running rampant."
Police are not sure what the motive behind this incident was, but they claim that the suspect is not a student at Forest High.
The incident may have been promptly dealt with before it turned into another mass shooting, but it still sent students and school staff into a panic, prompting them to react in order to defend themselves.
On social media, 16-year-old Jake Mailhiot shared an image of classroom furniture barricading his psychology classroom’s door to prevent the entrance of an active shooter.
CHILLING PHOTO - 16-year-old Jake Mailhiot at Forest High School took this photo after students and a teacher barricaded themselves in their psychology class during today's school shooting. https://t.co/gokOThOQTp pic.twitter.com/rnW4kNT9jf— News4JAX (@wjxt4) April 20, 2018
The incident prompted the school to go on lockdown for at least an hour.
After the scare, students were bused to a nearby church to meet with their parents while, simultaneously, other students across the country walked out to call for gun control.
RE: SHOOTING AT FOREST HIGH— Ocala Police Dept (@ocalapd) April 20, 2018
All schools are on Code Yellow as a PRECAUTION. The shooter is in custody and there is NO THREAT to any other school.
At this time we can only report that there is one person injured and the shooter is in custody. We are on scene assisting MCSO.
The Marion County Sheriffs Office says there has been a shooting at Forest high school. Deputies say one person was injured and they have a suspect in custody. Officials say the school is on lockdown, until they clear the rest of the campus— Myrt Price (@MPriceWFTV) April 20, 2018
Shooting at Forest High school, this is crazy. What is going on with this world.— Mauricio ???????? (@Recon_P) April 20, 2018
The incident having happened today struck a nerve with some students from Parkland, Florida, where Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and teachers in February.
A HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING IN FLORIDA JUST HAPPENED, being reported by @CNN— Leigh Grimes (@OliviaResists) April 20, 2018
On the anniversary of #ColumbineHighSchool .
Before the #NationalSchoolWalkout.
I hope every student walks out of every school today.
"The fact that it happened on this day, in a way, reinforces what we are trying to get across," said Parkland ninth-grader Ryan Servaites. "This happens. It is an issue. We see more people dying. Children are being hurt."
Speaking to CNN, Servaites said that this incident is not going to be enough to keep him and others from speaking out.
"We won't stop," he said. "This is why. It is, in a way, the world slapping us in the face, but we just have to look at it as a wake-up call."
Thankfully, nobody was seriously wounded today, but this shouldn’t have happened at all. And that’s why Servaites is right.
This ordeal taking place, both on the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting and just two months after the horrific Parkland mass shooting, reminds us of the importance of standing for justice and peace.
Hopefully, these nationwide protests are able to move people enough to make them act and demand change in their state and federal government.
Only pressure on lawmakers can truly lead to real change.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS, Carlos Barria