One hundred law enforcement officers responded to an incident at West Orange High School in which 17-year-old J-Morian Eddie Patrick Bell shot 15-year-old Ja’Roderick Smith in the face during a fistfight outside of the school.
Witness Austin Nornhold told Local6 that “[They’re] just walking and [he] turn[s] around and there’s a fight and one of them pulls a gun out and shoots [Smith]. [he] saw them take the gun out and shoot him. [He] left right after that because [he] didn’t want any trouble.” Bell shot Smith in the face and abdomen and fled off campus, fortunately not entering the school.
Smith was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where officials say he is in stable condition. Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings says that he has spoken with the victim, and that Smith and his family are in good spirits.
Orange County High School acted admirably in the face of such a terrible situation, and maintained amazing communication with parents. The school issued a statement to parents via Facebook informing them of the terrible news.
After an extended search, the school announced that Bell was in custody, and that students were being bussed to Ocoee High School for pickup. Bell was taken into custody near the intersection of Coscester St. and Massey Ave. in east Orange County. Bell told Local6 that he’s “got nothing to say to nobody.”
Wednesday basketball games against Dr. Phillips High School have been canceled, but the school’s spirit is not gone! Students will return tomorrow for classes at the regular time, with grief counselors being made available to those who need them.
A news report on the incident is below: