IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Police: Fla. girl shot peer in crowded school hall

/ Source: The Associated Press

A Florida high school student was ordered to remain behind bars on Thursday in the fatal shooting of a fellow student.

The 15-year-old sophomore was charged with first-degree murder and discharging a weapon on school property in the death of Amanda Collette.

The teen shot Collette in the hallway of the school and then walked to a restaurant to call authorities and turn herself in, police said.

She appeared in court Thursday morning. She was expected to undergo a psychological evaluation.

Prosecutors said they could charge her as an adult.

Dozens of students gathered before classes Thursday for a brief memorial service. Some wore black, while others brought flowers and teddy bears during the service next to three flagpoles outside Dillard High School. A few said prayers.

Wednesday's shooting set off a confused chain of events at the school: Witnesses said students screamed and ran when the victim fell to the floor, but authorities couldn't immediately confirm a shot had been fired.

'She's a nice girl'Stephan Willis, a sophomore who said he witnessed the shooting around 11 a.m., said the girls were arguing in an outside corridor when the teen suddenly pulled out a gun and shot Collette.

"She's a nice girl. She's quiet. She just keeps to herself," Willis said of the victim. He said he had known the victim since elementary school.

Another student, 14-year-old freshman Hermond Davis, said that the outside hallway was crowded after Collette collapsed, and that students screamed and panicked.

"As I am walking to the cafeteria, I saw this girl collapsed," Davis said. "She just fell, she just fell right out of the sky."

Police said they did not believe anyone heard gunshots, and an initial examination found no major wound on the girl's body, leading to questions about whether she was shot.

Authorities later confirmed the shooting. It was possible a smaller-caliber gun was used and the wound closed around the bullet, said Sgt. Frank Sousa, a spokesman for Fort Lauderdale Police. The school was locked down for a short time, but classes soon resumed.

'Shot her friend'
The suspect left campus and walked across the street to Captain Crab's Take-Away restaurant where she called authorities and told them "she had shot her friend," Sousa said. Authorities took her into custody at the restaurant and recovered a gun.

No other students were believed to have been involved, and the motive was still being investigated, police said.

Several dozen parents gathered outside the school after finding out about the shooting, some weeping.

"I'm just trying to get my baby out of here," said Betty Barnes, whose 15-year-old daughter, Tiffany, is a sophomore at the school. "I want to make sure she's OK. It's very scary not knowing."

Dillard has about 1,700 students. They don't pass through metal detectors, but officers are stationed on campus and security cameras are placed throughout.