Guard accidentally shoots worker at Florida private school

WESTON, Fla. (AP) — A security guard accidentally shot a maintenance worker in the eye at a Florida private school, leading to a felony charge, authorities said.

Security guard Julian Suarez, 55, was charged with illegally possessing a firearm at a school following Thursday’s shooting at the Sagemont School near Fort Lauderdale.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said Friday that Suarez wasn’t supposed to be carrying a gun at the school. They said he and the maintenance worker were in the school parking lot Thursday about noon when the gun accidentally fired, striking the maintenance worker.

Suarez drove the worker to a hospital, where deputies were notified. The sheriff’s office says the worker was in stable condition Friday. His name was not released.

Assistant public defender Hector Romero said at Suarez’s bail hearing Friday that Suarez was carrying the gun because he had another shift at a private school where he is supposed to be armed.

“It was a stupid mistake,” Romero said. Suarez remained jailed Friday. Bail was set at $7,500.

Sagemont officials did not return a call seeking comment.

After a 2018 shooting at a Florida high school left 17 dead, the Legislature passed a law requiring all public schools to have an armed police officer, guard or other employee on campus at all times. Private schools are not covered by that law, but many have armed security.