The halls of Quincy High School were unusually quiet Thursday, Sept. 19, the morning after the news of a ninth-grade student’s death the previous afternoon.
Sheriff Greg Hagwood confirmed the death of the 14-year-old girl from a single gunshot wound in an apparent suicide.
The sheriff’s department was dispatched at approximately 4 p.m. after receiving a 911 call from a friend of the family, Hagwood said.
Deputies arrived on scene at a private residence on Bucks Lake Road about 2 miles outside of Quincy.
The girl was pronounced deceased at the residence, Hagwood said. “We are in the process of confirming whose gun was used in the shooting.”
“It is an unspeakable tragedy,” the sheriff said. “It is very unfortunate that a tragedy like this visited the school and the community.
“The sheriff’s department extends sincere, heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of the young lady. We wish them all of our best thoughts and prayers as they suffer this tragic loss,” Hagwood said Thursday morning.
He said the department does not have a clear understanding of why the tragic event occurred.
“We’re working at understanding what may have triggered this.”
Hagwood said this is a coroner’s case, and that Sgt. Steve Peay, chief deputy coroner, is leading the investigation.
“We have been conducting a very thorough and comprehensive investigation,” Hagwood said, “and we will continue to do so.”
Principal Sue Segura, Superintendent Micheline Miglis and Sheriff Hagwood met at the school Wednesday afternoon to formulate a plan to deal with the loss.
They took immediate action to cancel the scheduled Back to School Night. Every parent was notified of the cancellation via the school’s automated telephone system.
“We’re doing everything we can,” Miglis said Thursday morning at the high school.
“We are shaken and grieving as a community and at this point in time we want to focus on students and staff and provide any support necessary and to stabilize the operations in the school.
“We have had a tremendous amount of immediate response from a variety of partners in the community to provide resources.
“We have an organized, well-constructed plan in place throughout the day and days to come.
“On behalf of the trustees and staff and principal, we ask that everyone respect the different ways each family and person will make sense of our loss.”
Principal Sue Segura notified teachers and students of the tragedy Thursday morning at the start of the school day.
“We have experienced a tragedy in the loss of one of our students last evening,” she said in a memo.
“We will all be challenged today in different ways. Counselors are available as well as clergy throughout the day.
“We want to encourage you to stay at school today. Should you feel that you would like to use their services, please feel free to excuse yourself to spend the time you need with these individuals.”
Classes will continue Thursday and Friday as scheduled.
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