Sheriff criticizes Forest High teacher for letting shooter into classroom
OCALA, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - After new body camera video showed how Sky Bouche was taken down inside of Forest High School, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods is criticizing the teacher who let him inside her classroom endangering all of her students.
It was first reported that this teacher talked down accused gunman Sky Bouche, 19, but what we didn’t know before is that she escorted him into her locked classroom filled with at least 15 students while he was still carrying a weapon.
By letting the gunman into her classroom, Sheriff Woods said teacher Kelly McManis-Panasuk put all of her students in extreme danger.
“She was knocking on the classroom door rapidly to get into the classroom,” Woods said. “Student B then stated that he opened the door for the teacher and he closed the door behind her and the male shooter – Bouche.”
The Sheriff said she left the security of her locked classroom and told Bouche to follow her back inside.
“He shot through the door,” she can be heard saying to a deputy on his body camera video.
Bouche had just shot through another classroom injuring a student, but then abandoned his 16-gauge sawed off shotgun in the hallway.
“Because he thinks it’s a malfunction,” Woods said.
Behind his tactical vest in his pocket was a knife.
“This right here is just as dangerous as a firearm,” Woods said. “Bouche could have harmed Ms. Panasuk.”
Fox 35 interviewed the teacher shortly after the April 20 school shooting about her encounter with Bouche and why she chose to confront him.
“To make sure that he did not change his mind and go back after that gun,” McManis-Panasuk said.
Yet Sheriff Woods said her good intentions posed a far greater risk to her students.
Marion County School Board members have mixed feelings about how this teacher chose to engage the school shooter. Some believe she is still a hero, while others say she was irresponsible and should have never invited the shooter into her locked classroom filled with students. Nonetheless, officials say changes and improvements to protocol will be made.