Few answers to how man got inside Fort Myers Senior High School

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
A hospital patient can be seen on campus at Fort Myers Senior High School Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. Police say man undergoing a mental evaluation at Lee Memorial Hospital ran away and made it onto the neighboring high school campus. Credit: via WINK News.

Parents and students want to know how a man was able to get past security and inside their school.

Thursday, Fort Myers Police Department said a man undergoing mental evaluation at Lee Memorial Hospital escaped next-door to Fort Myers Senior High School, where the principal and The School District of Lee County confirmed he was able to get inside one of the school buildings. At one point, the man also got by a security guard on campus, eventually being detained by first responders off campus.

There are still few answers Friday about how the man was able to foil school security at FMSHS. The District has refused to answer our questions about how someone could get into the school.

The principal did send an email to parents admitting what happened.

We know the man got onto the school courtyard and inside a building, where images surfaced of a hospital gown in a school stairwell.

The principal said in his email to parents the man ran past a security guard, who triggered a lockdown, and he confirmed the man got inside the school during that time.

“Initially, you could tell that there was something wrong just because they didn’t say it was a drill,” Senior Brooke Turner said.

Turner was in class when it happened.

“We actually heard sirens, so that was kind of like a little bit more nerve-racking,” Turner said.

Despite the lockdown, the patient was able to leave the building and jump a fence. Police finally caught up to him in a nearby neighborhood.

“The longer that it went on, you just kind of got a little bit more worried, just texting people and trying to figure out what was happening,” Turner said.

Turner said she was texting her sister, Brycelyn, who is a freshman at the school.

“That was kind of my initial thought,” Turner said. “I went to text her. I saw that she was typing, so we kind of we’re just talking to each other.”

Fort Myers Police Department said the patient was being evaluated for mental health. After they apprehended him, they confirmed he was not facing any charges.

“I feel like they handled it pretty well, and everybody followed orders, and, my teacher, we actually wound up moving desks before we knew what happened,” Turner said. “So we were kind of being quiet about it and just getting prepared, so it was good that we had stuff under control.”

We reached out to the District, including members of the school board and the superintendent, but no one has responded to us.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.