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Polk Co. student describes bus shooting

Posted: 11:19 AM, Sep 29, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-29 15:19:32Z

Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office continue to search for the person or persons, who fired a BB or pellet gun at two school buses.

The incident happened Friday, Sept. 25 around 3:30 p.m. Both buses were driving along Highway 17/92 near Davenport.

Nathan McAllister, 9, was on one of the buses.  He said he was sitting about 5 rows behind the bus driver.  He said he heard that window shatter and the one next to him cracked. McAllister's guardian, Raylene Hernandez, said she knew something was wrong when he got home from school.

"I didn't notice it was like that until I looked over there to see, which car it was," McAllister said.

The second school bus was damaged too. A back window was shot out.  Detectives have been reviewing surveillance video from one of the buses. 

In the surveillance video, people can clearly see a row of cars passing the school bus. Sheriff Grady Judd said his detectives want to speak with the person or people, who were in -what is believed to be- a Lexus. 

He said they are not sure whether that specific car was involved, but they would like to talk to whomever was in the car, in order to cross off that possible lead.

"We're just hoping they find him because tomorrow (Tuesday) school (is) back in session again and he (McAllister) has to get back on that bus and, you know, these kids are scared," Hernandez said.

Sheriff Judd did not reveal what his department will be doing tomorrow to keep kids safe, but he wanted to ease parents concerns.

"It's not funny to us. It's dead serious. We're going to do everything we can to arrest them," Sheriff Judd said.

Sheriff Judd said they are offering a $1,000 reward to anyone with information that will lead to an arrest.

People can contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office with information at (863) 298-6200 or the Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 226-TIPS.
 

ABC Action News contacted the Polk County School District. Kyle Kennedy, Senior Analyst Media Relations with Polk County Public Schools, emailed this statement to us Monday afternoon:

“On Friday the Polk County Sheriff’s Office was conducting its initial investigation and was contacting students on these buses as potential witnesses in the ongoing investigation. Parents and guardians were provided information that was available at that point.
Polk County Public Schools is cooperating with investigators and encourages anyone with information to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS or log onto www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com Although we cannot go into details, our Department of Safe Schools is working with law enforcement to ensure the safety of our students.”