Occasionally, stories of tragic accidents involving school buses make headlines. But it wasn’t a crash that claimed the life of 13-year-old Lourdes Guzman, who succumbed this morning to injuries sustained on Tuesday on a bus in Homestead, Fla. She died of gunshot wounds.
The perpetrator was another student on the bus, aged 15. Guzman’s 7-year-old sister was also a passenger and was exposed to the life-altering image of her sister being fatally gunned down.
The shooter, whose name has been concealed, faces charges of manslaughter and carrying a concealed firearm, Miami NBC affiliate 6 South Florida reports.
The incident happened en route to school. The shooter, a male, took the firearm out of his backpack and began displaying it, according to the arrest form. The gun discharged, apparently by accident, and struck Guzman, seated nearby. About eight other children were on the bus at the time.
Parents of the other children were visibly shaken. One of them, Heather Manuel, told reporters, “It was heart-wrenching to know this could have been anybody. [Lourdes was] just a year younger than my daughter and in my son’s class.”
Guzman’s best friend, Isabel Paillere, also commented. “I just miss her a lot already, it’s only been a few hours. I hope she’s in a better place right now.”
Lynn Norman-Teck, a spokeswoman for Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools, explained that the bus services three schools. Somerset Academy Silver Palms, Palm Glades Preparatory Academy, and Summerville school. Administrators at Somerset have called in grief counselors.
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