Dale Regan, principal of Episcopal High School in Jacksonville, Florida was shot and killed by a teacher fired earlier that day, CNN reports. The teacher, who police identified as a 28-year old Shane Schumerth, had attended a termination meeting with Regan in the morning. Speaking to reporters, the Undersheriff Dwain Senterrfitt, of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said that Schumerth returned later that day carrying a gun, and walked into Regan’s office.
“He shot and killed Ms. Regan and then he killed himself,” he said.
No one else was injured in the incident.
Regan had been employed at Episcopal for 34 years, starting as a teacher and eventually rising to the position of principal. Boston Globe reports that she was the first female ever appointed to run the school. Barbara Hodges, executive director of the Florida Council for Independent Schools expressed sorrow at Regan’s untimely death.
“Today, we have truly lost a great educator and an advocate for all children.”
Hodges said she focused on high academic standards but also valued strong relationships with students and teachers.
According to The Florida Times-Union, Schumerth, who taught Spanish at the school before his dismissal, killed Regan and himself with an AK-47 he purchased at a Jacksonville gun show earlier this year. He carried nearly 100 rounds with him, and shot Regan more than 10 times before turning the weapon on himself.
Investigators have yet to find a note or other indication as to Schumerth’s motive, said the source, who has not been authorized to speak publicly about the case.
Social networks and blogs were filled last night with remembrances from current and former students. On a popular Internet website reddit.com, a member posted a picture of Regan with a caption:
This great woman was shot and killed in her office today at my old high school. she handed me my diploma when I graduated. RIP Dale Regan.
Another user chimed in with:
I didn’t know her very well but have many friends who did. I asked them this question yesterday and a similar response by all of them was “she was seriously the nicest woman.”. It’s truly a tragedy. You know you’re doing something right when a school full of teenagers loves their principal.