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Parents confronted by long lines, confusion after shooting outside Suncoast High School

Shooting occurred at about 7:20 a.m. as students arrived to begin day
Parents faced long lines trying to pick up students at Suncoast High School on April 22, 2024, after a shooting in the parking lot of the school.
Posted at 11:09 AM, Apr 22, 2024

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Parents with students who attend Suncoast High School were faced with confusion and long lines after a shooting in the parking lot of the school Monday morning.

When WPTV crews arrived at the scene at 8 a.m. we spotted parents walking around the school with looks of confusion and wondering what was happening.

NewsChannel 5 spoke with several parents while they waited in a long line to pick up their children.

There was crime tape and multiple police vehicles outside of Suncoast High School in Riviera Beach after a shooting on April 22, 2024.

Riviera Beach

Man shot by police officer in parking lot of Suncoast Community High School

Jamie Ostroff
8:15 AM, Apr 22, 2024

WPTV reporter Victor Jorges heard the names of students being called out about three or four at a time for them to be picked up.

At 10:30 a.m., traffic was moving slowly with several agencies involved including the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, School District of Palm Beach County officers and Riviera Beach police.

Several parents said they were feeling anxious and just wanted to get their kids after this scary situation.

WPTV also heard from parents saying their kids were terrified after they were finally picked up.

Police said the shooting happened at about 7:20 a.m. at the peak of students arriving and the school day starting.

There was crime tape and multiple police vehicles outside of Suncoast High School in Riviera Beach after a shooting on April 22, 2024.
There was crime tape and multiple police vehicles outside of Suncoast High School in Riviera Beach after a shooting on April 22, 2024.

Some parents were wondering and questioning if the school handled the situation in the best way possible, saying they weren't informed about it as fast as they wanted.

Suncoast High School and other surrounding schools are close to a residential area. WPTV spotted several people in their front yards and a nearby convenience store wondering what sparked the high level of law enforcement at the scene.

WPTV spoke to Celine Rampersad, the mother of a freshman who attends Suncoast High School.

She said what happened Monday morning is something no parent ever wants to witness, but she is relieved that nobody was hurt.

Celine Rampersad told WPTV that her daughter was at Suncoast High School when the incident occurred on April 22, 2024.
Celine Rampersad told WPTV that her daughter was at Suncoast High School when the incident occurred on April 22, 2024.

"She's doing well," Rampersad said. "She was very scared. She texted me saying, 'I might die today.' I said, 'No honey, you're gonna be OK,'" Rampersad said.

One parent, Jen McMahon, told WPTV reporter Brooke Chau that she was in line for 40 minutes waiting to pick up her twin freshmen students.

McMahon said her husband had to wait with detectives inside the school since he saw the incident happen.

Jen McMahon said her husband saw the confrontation that involved a person and police at Suncoast High School on April 22, 2024.
Jen McMahon said her husband saw the confrontation that involved a person and police at Suncoast High School on April 22, 2024.

"He saw a man and blue scrubs come in and the officers kind of confronted him and then the guy reached for the officer's gun, and she pulled it out and shot him," McMahon said. "That's the story I know."

A lot of parents said they did feel a sense of relief once they learned this shooting had nothing to do with a student or teacher, and they were just focused on getting their kids safely.

Elizabeth Marrero was stuck in traffic at Suncoast High School as she attempted to pick up her child following a shooting near campus on April 22, 2024.
Elizabeth Marrero was stuck in traffic at Suncoast High School as she attempted to pick up her child following a shooting near campus on April 22, 2024.

'IF I HAVE TO WAIT ALL DAY, I WILL'

Elizabeth Marrero said she did what hundreds of other worried parents did after hearing about the shooting — she drove to the school and encountered gridlock.

"My son called me, and then the school called me 30 minutes later," Marrero said. "It should be a little more organized."

Parents told WPTV reporter Jon Shainman that they waited 30 to 45 minutes — even an hour — to get their children.

"One hour, yes," parent Ingrid Tomasova. "But it's my baby here, so if I have to wait all day, I will."

School police vehicle outside Suncoast Community High School, April 22, 2024

Riviera Beach

Parents frustrated by lack of communication after shooting at Suncoast HS

Peter Burke
11:59 AM, Apr 22, 2024

Traffic stretched onto Blue Heron Boulevard, one of the major east-west roads in Riviera Beach. Cars then had to turn onto Avenue S to head toward the bus loop at the school where they could pick up their children.

"My daughters called me. They're OK, a bit shaken up, but they're like, 'Please come pick us up,'" parent Carmen Cabral said.

Cabral said that even though her day was turned upside down, waiting in a long pickup line turned out to be the least of her worries.

"I had a list of things I was going to do on my own today, but that was all canceled, of course, but I'm glad to hear they're OK," Cabral said.