Police: FL teen killed classmate at school

November 14, 2008 5:54:26 AM PST
Dozens of high school students gathered before classes Thursday for a brief memorial service a day after authorities said one 15-year-old girl shot and killed another in a crowded hallway.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Some students wore black, while others brought flowers and teddy bears to the service next to three flagpoles outside Dillard High School. A few said prayers.

Teah Wimberly, a 15-year-old sophomore, is charged with first-degree murder and discharging a weapon on school property in the killing of Amanda Collette. Investigators said Wimberly shot Collette, then walked to a seafood restaurant to call authorities and turn herself in.

Wimberly was ordered to be held for 21 days at a court appearance Thursday morning, and is expected to undergo a psychological evaluation. Prosecutors said they could charge her as an adult.

The shooting around 11 a.m. Wednesday set off a confused chain of events at the school: Students screamed and ran when the victim fell to the floor, but authorities couldn't immediately confirm a shot had been fired.

Stephan Willis, a sophomore, said the girls were arguing in an outside corridor when Wimberly suddenly pulled out a gun and shot Collette.

"She's a nice girl. She's quiet. She just keeps to herself," Willis said of the victim, whom he said he'd known since elementary school.

Police said they did not believe anyone heard gunshots, and an initial examination found no major wound on the girl's body.

Authorities later confirmed the shooting. It was possible a smaller-caliber gun was used and the wound closed around the bullet, said Sgt. Frank Sousa, a spokesman for Fort Lauderdale Police. The school was locked down for a short time, but classes soon resumed.

Wimberly left campus and walked across the street to Captain Crab's Take-Away restaurant where she called authorities and told them "she had shot her friend," Sousa said. Authorities took her into custody at the restaurant and recovered a gun.

Wimberly was being questioned by police. Messages left Thursday with her attorney, Gary Kollin, were not immediately returned.

No other students were believed to have been involved.

Dillard has about 1,700 students. They don't pass through metal detectors, but officers are stationed on campus and security cameras are placed throughout.

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