Published November 21, 2012
HOMESTEAD, Fla. – A 15-year-old South Florida teen was charged with fatally shooting a girl in front of her younger sister and several other students while riding the bus to school Tuesday morning.
According to Miami-Dade police, the male student was taken into custody at the scene in Homestead and later charged with manslaughter and carrying a concealed firearm.
The Miami Herald identified Jordyn Alexander Howe as the student who was charged.
An arrest report says the minor took the gun from his backpack and began displaying it on the bus. The Herald said the gun accidentally went off, hitting Lourdes Guzman. The 13-year-old girl was airlifted to a Miami hospital, where she died.
Eight other children, including Guzman’s 7-year-old sister, were on the bus, but not harmed. The children and the bus driver were taken by authorities to a police station where they were interviewed.
Guzman attended Palm Glades Preparatory Academy, a charter middle school. Her sister went to nearby Summerville Advantage Academy.
Parents gathered at the shooting site, which was cordoned off by crime scene tapes as authorities searched the bus for evidence. They gathered children’s backpacks and belongings. The shooting happened about seven minutes away from the school.
Lynn Norman-Teck, a spokeswoman for the Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools, said about a dozen parents picked up their children early.
Many other students did not hear about the shooting and the school did not make an announcement before classes were dismissed. However, word started to spread as they walked outside to waiting school buses.
“She was a good girl,” said 13-year-old Eric Carillo, who also stated he was in the same class as Guzman a few years ago. “She was fun.”
Sarah Baer said she wouldn’t let her daughter walk home from school because there are rough neighborhoods a few blocks away.
“I always take my daughter to and from school,” said Baer. “This is so heartbreaking especially right before Thanksgiving.”
The school bus was not equipped with video surveillance equipment.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.