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Shooting, drug search leads to suspensions

By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
A Sunday shooting resulted in the suspension of students from W.S. Neal High School this past week, sheriff's department officials said. In an unrelated matter, officers conducting a random drug search at the school resulted in the suspension of two students found to be in possession of drugs.
The Escambia County Sheriff's Office along with the Escambia County Juvenile Probation Office are investigating the shooting incident that may have involved students from W.S. Neal High School.
According to a sheriff's department news release, at approximately 8:26 p.m. on Feb. 12, two juveniles were traveling south on Hwy. 29 in a 1999 Pontiac Bonneville when an occupant of a passing vehicle shot into their vehicle.
The suspect's vehicle was traveling north on Hwy. 29 near the intersection of Ridge Road when the incident took place. The shot from the weapon hit the juveniles' front driver's window and appeared to be from a shotgun, the news release stated.
Escambia County Sheriff's Office Investigator Lee Hall is investigating the incident. According to Hall and W.S. Neal High School Principal Phillip Ellis, there is no proof that any W.S. Neal High School students were involved in the shooting on Hwy 29.
In a separate incident that occurred at the W.S. Neal High School, a random search this week for drugs yielded two students in possession of drugs. The students have been suspended.
Ellis said that this is the second offense for one of the students involved. He said that typically, students with three offenses are expelled. Action will be taken by members of the Escambia County Board of Education at its next meeting, set for Thursday.