Security tightened at Plant High as search for gunman continues - FOX 13 News

Security tightened at Plant High as search for gunman continues

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The shooting of a Plant High School student over the weekend has left the neighborhood surrounding the school on edge and made for a nervous start to the week, parents and students said Monday.

Tampa Police said officers are still searching for information surrounding what happened Friday night while two teenage girls walked home from Plant High's football game.

Investigators said a car pulled up to the teens near the intersection of West San Miguel Street and South Bendelow Trail, and the driver rolled down the window.

"He said something to them, but they're not 100 percent sure what he said," said Andrea Davis, a police spokesperson. "They did the right thing: they screamed and they ran. And he fired a shot, and it hit one of the girls in the leg."

Police identified the victim as Lauren Lastres, 16, and said she's expected to recover. Three days after the shooting, police hadn't yet made any arrests and are still trying to determine why this happened.

"Obviously, if there's a specific motive or a specific target toward children or young girls, that makes a huge difference," Daivs said. "But we don't know what the motive is at this point."

Students, meanwhile, said they're nervous about walking to or from school.

"I'm a senior, I'm just a kid right now," said Plant student Julio Miranda. "Now I'm paranoid, looking for...a [suspicious] car. Am I going to be shot here or something?"

The shooting stunned neighbors and parents in the south Tampa community. One mother said she's just hoping police make an arrest soon.

"I think it's going to be challenging to get him, because obviously it was dark and I don't know that there was anyone around him," said Jeanne Doney, whose daughter is a freshman at Plant. "You don't think about someone prowling around the high school on a regular basis with a gun, so it was surprising."

Detectives are asking anyone with surveillance cameras around the site of the shooting, particularly businesses aloung South Dale Mabry Highway and South MacDill Avenue, to check their video.

Investigators said the suspect was driving a black, four-door vehicle with dark, tinted windows. Anyone with information is asked to call Tampa police.

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