Updated at 6:21 p.m. ET: JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The head of a private high school was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon by a teacher who had been fired earlier in the day, NBC News reported.
Police said a man came onto campus of Episcopal School of Jacksonville with an AK-47 in a guitar case, went to the administrative office, shot the head of the school several times, and then killed himself, according to WJXT-TV in Jacksonville, Fla.
NBC News reported both bodies were found on campus about 1:30 p.m. NBC News confirmed the person shot was Dale D. Regan, the head of the private, coed school of about 900 students in central Jacksonville. Regan had been at the school for more than 34 years, according to the school’s website.
"We have full confidence that Dale Regan is already with God and in heaven with our Lord and savior Jesus, but we ask for your prayers as we mourn this great leader," said Kate Morehead, dean of Episcopal Cathedral. "We are shocked. She was a very beloved woman."
Regan had been headmistress for seven years.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office told NBC News an employee who had been recently terminated returned to the high school with an assault-style firearm, went into an office and shot and killed Regan. The gunman then shot and killed himself. Authorities identified him as Shane Schumerth, 29, a Spanish teacher at the school.
Schumerth had been hired in 2010, according to the school's website.
'No one is in danger'
Witnesses said they heard seven or eight shots fired in or near the administrative office.
"No children were involved, we believe, and no one is in danger," Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Melissa Bujeda said.
The shooting sent shock waves throughout the school and community.
"I think our headmaster was killed today, and I think it was an unhappy teacher that was fired this morning (that shot her)," teacher Carolyn Cooper told WJXT-TV.
A parent, Dondra Lewis, told First Coast News she received a text message from her son, who is a student, and he said there was a shooter on campus.
Another parent, Dave Steel, told WJXT-TV he also received a text from his son. "My heart immediately started racing. All I could think of was the worst and come and get my son immediately to make sure he was safe," he said.
Vigils have been planned for Regan. The school said in a statement it would provide counseling to students and faculty.
The school released the following statement on its website: "The Episcopal Community is deeply saddened to share with you that Dale Regan, Episcopal's Head of School, died this afternoon. Our deepest sympathies are with her family and we ask for your support and prayers during this time. The entire School family mourns the loss of our friend and leader.
"All students and faculty are safe and our campus is secure. The School will remain closed from today through the already scheduled spring break until March 19th. The School will provide counseling and pastoral care to its students, faculty, staff and to those in our School community."
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