A chemistry teacher from the Florida high school where 17 people lost their lives in a shooting a few weeks ago has been arrested after forgetting his loaded gun in a public restroom.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office says Sean Simpson, a chemistry teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, left his loaded gun inside a bathroom. Shortly after that, a homeless man found the gun and made a shot. The chemistry teacher told authorities on Sunday that he realized that he had forgotten the gun at the Deerfield Beach Pier after hearing the shot. The homeless man fired the gun at the wall before Mr. Simpson returned and took it away from him.
Mr. Simpson says the man who found the gun appeared drunk. Authorities showed up to the area shortly after that and arrested the man and Mr. Simpson, who was released after paying a $250 cash bail bond.
Authorities revealed that the man who fired the gun is Joseph Spataro. He told authorities that he fired the gun to see if it was loaded. He was charged with trespassing and shooting while intoxicated. No one was injured in the incident.
A spokesman for the school board told local media that the district is not expected to take action against the teacher. Mr. Simpson has shown support for more gun control measures after the shooting at the high school on February 14. The shooting has sparked protests from students and officials who are asking for changes.
The chemistry teacher reportedly attended one of the protests last month. Mr. Simpson has also shown support for the idea of arming teachers so they can fight back if a shooting happens at their school.
On Tuesday, Broward School Board members declined to participate in a program that provides training and arms school staff. One of the school board members explained that this would mean more guns. The School Board added that it wants the state to let them use the money to add more school police officers. One school board member said that for those districts that don’t want to arm staff, they should give them the money to keep students safe in other ways. Board members also discussed the idea of hiring security officers but did not reach an agreement on that.