Forest High School teachers Spencer Ashley and Kelly McManis-Panasuk began their day on April 20 as they would any other day.
As the Oscala Star Banner reports, McManis-Panasuk was taking roll while Ashley was having a conversation with some of his students when they heard something like a metal trash can being thrown in the hallway.
— Shad E. McGuire (@ShadEMcGuire) April 22, 2018
The sound startled everyone who heard it. Ashley told the Oscala Star Banner that he knew it wasn’t a trash can, but couldn’t quite “pinpoint” what the sound was exactly. While the sound wasn’t obvious at first, he admits that looking back, he should have known exactly what it was, especially since he grew up around guns his whole life.
When McManis-Panasuk looked outside her classroom window to see what was going on, she witnessed a “hysterical” female student running down the hallway. The teacher quickly opened up the door to let the student inside.
Ashley began hearing people yell his name. As he told the Oscala Star Banner, he is the only male teacher in that designated hallway, meaning he is used to hearing his name being called if a fight breaks out.
At that moment, Ashley took off running toward the cries for help.
Forest High School teacher and basketball coach Spencer Ashley ran through the halls yelling “Code Red” before it was announced over the intercom. He recounts his experience during the #Ocala school shooting. https://t.co/WB1Tmyc8oN
— Katie Pohlman (@katie_pohlman) April 22, 2018
When he arrived, he saw that a 17-year-old student had been shot in the ankle.
After getting the students to a safer location, an assistant basketball coach and the school’s principal walked into the classroom where the injured student was located. That’s when principal Brent Carson said the words “Code Red.”
Ashley took off running down the hallways screaming “Code Red” for all to hear before going back to his classroom to coach his students on what they should do if the gunman entered their room.
He told his students to exit the through the window feet first:
“I told them I would be the last one out and would do anything I could to protect them.”
Meanwhile, after letting the frightened female inside her classroom, McManis-Panasuk took another peak outside her window. That’s when she saw one of her former students, 19-year-old Sky Bouche.
Seeing his hands up in the air, McManis-Panasuk knew Bouche wanted to talk and needed someone to listen, so she walked outside of her classroom.
“‘His hands were up and he said he wanted to be arrested … I am mentally ill. I asked: ‘Did you shoot a gun?’ He said he did shoot a gun.”
She asked where he shot the gun, to which he responded that he had shot a door. McManis-Panasuk remembered:
“He said: ‘I didn’t think it (the gun) would work.'”
Bouche told McManis-Panasuk that he was at his breaking point, he had “been abused by his family his whole life and he was done.” She explained:
“He wanted to be arrested. I really don’t think he meant to shoot the gun. I think it really was an accident. He just wanted someone to listen to him.”
It was then that McManis-Panasuk told Bouche to stay where he was as she attempted to alert others with the emergency call button at her desk.
CHILLING JAILHOUSE CONFESSION: Sky Bouche, the 19-year-old who allegedly opened fire inside a Florida High School Friday, confessed to the shooting in a new interview, saying he did it because he wanted to go to jail. @ABonTV reports. https://t.co/vZ4ieXmoWD pic.twitter.com/HrgpEEPFyn
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) April 23, 2018
When it didn’t work, she called the school’s front office to report the active shooter situation.
While waiting for the school’s resource officer and principal, who arrived three minutes later, Bouche told McManis-Panasuk that he was going to reach into his pocket but promised not to hurt anyone.
It was then that he pulled out more ammunition and a folding knife from the his bullet-proof vest and placed them on a table. He was then handcuffed by the resource officer.
McManis-Panasuk told the Oscala Star Banner that Bouche was a “high school dropout” who struggled with his school work, but didn’t often attend when he was enrolled.
According to ABC News, Bouche reportedly told investigators that he considered shooting up a church, but ultimately decided on a school “because it created more attention.”
The teacher refuses to call herself a hero, instead describing herself as “just a good listener.”
Ashley, whose wife is eight months pregnant, also doesn’t consider himself a hero. Instead he said he did what he thought was the “right thing to do” at the time.