Central Florida reels after deadly school shooting in Connecticut


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Hours after a deadly school shooting in Connecticut, Orange County deputies took a man armed with a shotgun into custody near East River High School.

Sheriff Jerry Demings talked about school security during an afternoon news conference.

Officials are working to determine if the man, Robert William Vinn, was a copycat. More details from the Orange County Sheriff's Office are forthcoming.

Demings spoke about the scare near East River High School and Corner Lake Middle School.

"We don't have enough information about it at this time, but that is something that is always a concern – [an] incident that occurs that gets a lot of notoriety anywhere, [there is] concern that others may follow suit with a similar act," Demings said.

Demings said a firefighter spotted a man Friday afternoon walking around both schools, which sit side-by-side near Bithlo.

The firefighter said the man was carrying a shotgun with a lot of power.

This incident comes just hours after the earlier school shooting tragedy in Connecticut.

There are concerns tonight that this could have been someone trying to copy what the shooter did in Newtown, Conn.

The sheriff initially held the news conference to put parents in Orange County and Orlando at ease in light of the Connecticut school shooting.

Demings said the plan in place to protect schools in the area worked Friday because as soon as the firefighter saw something suspicious, he called law enforcement, and they were able to make a quick arrest.

The sheriff said if you see something -- say something.

Parents who picked up their children at schools in central Florida Friday were visibly shaken by this tragedy.

Many of them said they couldn't imagine what the parents in Connecticut are experiencing and just felt the need make sure their own kids were OK.

"My heart aches for Connecticut; my heart aches as a parent. I'd be devastated if I came to my son’s … “ said parent Brandy Layton, choking up.

"All I wanted to do was come get my kids, give them a hug and love on them," said parent Desiree Wilson.

Newtown, Conn., is a rural community, so WFTV checked with Marion County about security at its rural schools.

The district said it is taking some action Friday night based on what happened in Connecticut.

WFTV is working on that story now.

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