The Marion County Sheriff’s Office released body cam footage on Thursday in which one of their own confronted a school shooter. In the video, the suspected gunman apologizes, and says he had a violent upbringing.
Authorities claim Sky Bouche, 19, entered the school after hiding a 16 gauge sawed-off shotgun in a black guitar case, and tactical vest in a blue backpack. In the boy’s restroom, he loaded the firearm, put on the vest and gloves, then stepped out, the sheriff’s office said in a statement, along with newly released surveillance and body cam footage. Bouche fired one round into the door a classroom, striking a 17-year-old in the “ankle/lower foot area.” He then stopped shooting, dropped the weapon, and walked down the hallway to another classroom, where MCSO School Resource Deputy Jim Long arrested him, the statement said. The 17-year-old is expected to make a full recovery.
The video shows all of that and more. As seen on footage, Long finds the suspected gunman in a classroom. He handcuffs him, hands behind back. A school official identifies the suspect as the gunman. Long orders everyone else out of the classroom, and deputies work on securing the firearm. The alleged gunman says it is in front of a restroom.
The suspect then begins to apologize.
“I’m sorry, sir,” he says, and blamed the incident on a violent upbringing.
“Are you kidding me?” Long says, apparently caught off guard by the statement. The gunman continues to explain himself, to which the deputy says, “Are you [bleep]–Are you serious?”
Upon questioning, the suspect identifies himself as former student at the school, and gives his name. He even repeated his name after the deputy apparently mispronounced it.
“S-K-Y Bouche,” the suspected gunman said.
The rest of the footage shows Long working to determine if the suspect really was just alone, if there were other weapons involved (including possible explosives), to locate the suspect’s vehicle, and to find firm proof of the suspect’s identity.
Bouche spoke to reporters shortly after his arrest. He told The Ocala Banner Star that he stopped shooting because of a crying girl. He also said he had a violent upbringing. On May 8, the same outlet reported that the defendant switched from a public defender to Miami-based attorney Dennis Gonzalez Jr. The lawyer didn’t immediately respond to our request for comment about the newly released footage.
As things stand, the defense is putting up a fight. According to Marion County records obtained by Law&Crime, Bouche pleaded not guilty on May 22 to charges of terrorism, carrying a concealed firearm, discharge of a firearm on school property to facilitate or further terrorism, possession of a short-barreled shotgun, disruption or interference with an educational institution to facilitate or further terrorism, and burglary of a structure with a firearm. A trial has been scheduled, with jury selection to begin August 20.
[Screengrab via Marion County Sheriff’s Office]