Another school shooting has been reported but this time it did not involve a student and no students were hurt in the shooting. A private school fired a teacher on Tuesday, who then returned to the school with a gun. The teacher shot and killed the school’s headmistress and then committed suicide.
The shooting took place at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville, where officers arrived at 1:23 p.m. on Tuesday. The school was put on lockdown after reports of a person with a gun. Dale Regan, the head of the school, was found dead along with the gunman when officers arrived.
“Today we have truly lost a great educator and an advocate for all children,” said Barbara Hodges, executive director of the Florida Council of Independent Schools.
The gunman was identified as 28-year-old Shane Schumerth by the sheriff’s office. Schumerth graduated from Purdue University and taught Spanish. This is according to a press release from the school back in 2010 when he was hired.
Regan was employed by the Episcopal School for over 30 years. She began working there as a teacher and then became the very first woman to be hired as the school’s highest leader. Regan’s focus while on the job was academic standards and strong relationships between students and teachers, according to Hodges.
“She truly focused on the whole being, the whole child,” Hodges said.
Regan was responsible for opening two new academic halls recently that feature new technology that will help teaching in the school. The two new academic halls were the first two new classrooms built since the founding of the school. Hodges discussed what it was like to walk through the new classrooms with Regan before they opened to the school last year.
“You could see that she was dreaming about all the incredible programs that would happen in that building and how that would impact the lives of students,” Hodges said.
Hodges and Regan met two weeks prior to Regan’s death and they had been sending emails back and forth on Tuesday morning. Regan was the president of the Florida Council of Independent Schools board. The two were talking about a meeting scheduled and were planning new programs.
“There was nothing that indicated anything was amiss,” Hodges said.
“I would hope the parents hug their children, pray for their children, pray for Dale, pray for the man who was so distraught that he committed this terrible act of violence,” said the Rev. Kate Moorehead, dean of the Episcopal Cathedral.