On Friday, October 20, 2023, deputies responded to calls about a shooting that had occurred at Farnell Middle School. When deputies arrived, they located a deceased adult male in the back part of the school.
The preliminary investigation shows that a man drove to where students are dropped off by bus and by their parents. As he approached the school building, he took his life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Unfortunately, two students were in the vicinity at the time of the shooting and witnessed the incident. Those students ran to the office, where they informed school staff and, using the CENTEGIX System, placed the school on immediate lockdown.
“As horrible as this was for the students who witnessed it, I must commend their bravery and quick action in telling school staff,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “They did not know or understand fully what was happening except that there was a weapon on campus that had been discharged and that other students could be in danger.”
At this time, it is believed the man who committed suicide is the ex-husband of a teacher at the middle school. At no time did he attempt to enter the school.
The school lockdown was lifted once it was determined that no children were in danger.
HCSO deputies are still processing the scene and working with Hillsborough County Public Schools and school security to ensure students are taken care of, and parents are notified of the incident.