Fatal Shooting of 13-Year-Old on School Bus in Miami Shocks Parents and Students

A male student from Palm Glades Preparatory Academy has been charged in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old female student witnessed by the victim’s seven-year-old sister and several other students yesterday.  Miami-Metro Dade Police reported that they recovered a gun at the scene in Holmestead, Florida.  Palm Glades is described in media reports as a public charter school.

Many parents from the school expressed shock after they learned of the shooting which occurred Tuesday morning.  According to news accounts, the timing of the incident has added to the impact of the events on parents and students.

While at this stage, we have only media accounts and the cause of the incident is unknown, this type of incident underscores the importance of security and emergency preparedness training for school bus drivers.  Having worked many school and school bus weapons assaults over the years, I have learned to take care in relying on early media reports relating to these types of incidents.  

As many incidents around the nation have demonstrated, school bus drivers regularly have to apply what they learn in school bus safety training, drills and exercises.  We have found school bus drivers, transportations supervisors and directors to be eager to learn ways to reduce the chances that school bus security incidents will occur and to be more prepared to perform under stress should they take place.


The girl, who was identified as Lourdes Guzman, was airlifted to Miami Children’s Hospital after the 6:45 a.m. shooting, and she later died, Miami-Dade Police said. It wasn’t immediately known where she was shot.

The incident happened while the two were en route to school, police said. The boy took out the firearm from his backpack and then began displaying it, according to the arrest form.

Police said the 15-year-old boy faces charges including manslaughter and carrying a concealed firearm.

About Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a non-profit school safety center. The author of 27 books on school safety, Michael’s campus safety work has taken him to 11 countries over the past 34 years.