Deputies: Student fatally shoots himself at Lake Minneola High School

By: Jason Kelly

Updated:

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A 17-year-old student fatally shot himself Tuesday morning near the bus loop at Lake Minneola High School, Lake County Schools said.

Deputies said there is no active shooter on campus and that the school is secure.

The student has been identified as Seth Sutherland, who was a senior at the school.

Photos: Lake Minneola High School lockdown

Sutherland shot himself in a courtyard near the bus loop. He was discovered after students went outside for a preplanned fire drill.

Deputies said Sutherland stole the gun from a family friend that was stored in a secure case and separately from its magazines.

"It surprised me, because when I first looked at my phone, all the students were outside like a normal fire drill," student Layne Balfour said. "But once I saw people, they said, 'I don't think this is a drill.' I noticed all the cop cars and all that, so I knew something worse happened."

Deputies said it did not appear Sutherland was bullied and he left behind a note where he admitted to struggling with depression.

Parents were allowed to pick up their children from the school as long as they presented identification and were listed on the child's pick-up list, officials said.

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Officials said a crisis team with grief counselors traveled to the school.

"The school is secure at this time, and we have reason to believe it to be a self-inflicted shot," a Lake County Sheriff's Office spokesman said. "Lake Minneola High School and others in the area have been placed on lockdown out of an abundance of caution as we continue to investigate."

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Lake Minneola High School and Grassy Lake Elementary School were placed under lockdown after the shooting.

Those contemplating suicide may contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.

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