Lourdes Guzman, 13, was shot and killed as she rode a school bus on Tuesday morning. Another teen, Jordyn Alexander Howe, has been charged with manslaughter and carrying a concealed firearm.
According to reports, Howe displayed the firearm as the children rode the bus to school on Tuesday morning. The gun discharged and hit Howe in the neck; she was immediately taken to Miami Children's Hospital but was later pronounced dead. The Associated Press has reported that Howe fired the gun, while CNBC stated that the gun simply discharged.
Compounding the tragedy is that her 7-year-old sister was aboard the bus when the shooting occurred. Parents quickly gathered at the police station, where the children were taken after the shooting. They provided critical details about what happened aboard the bus, which led to the arrest of Howe.
"Obviously based… on the investigation and the evidence and based on interviews we conducted with him [Howe], it does appear to be an accident. I can assure you there was a comprehensive interview done regarding that gun and its whereabouts and where it originated, and based on what we're hearing it doesn't appear that anyone else will be charged at this time," Detective Roy Rutland told CBS Miami.
Classmates and parents alike are in a state of shock over the shooting and remember Guzman fondly. The school did not make any announcement about the incident until the end of the day, but rumors began to circulate before the final bell. Parents of those on the bus were allowed to take their children home after questioning.
"She was a good girl. She was fun," classmate Eric Carillo told the Clarion Ledger.
"I always take my daughter to and from school," parent Sarah Baer added. "This is so heartbreaking, especially right before Thanksgiving."
Howe confessed to the shooting and is currently being held at the Miami-Dade Juvenile Assessment Center.