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One Student Dead, Two Wounded in School Shooting

May 20, 1991

PAHOKEE, Fla. (AP) _ A student who had feuded last week with two classmates shot and wounded them today during a school break and killed a bystander, authorities said.

The 18-year-old student, identified as Benjamin Dotson, was taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder, said Palm Beach Sheriff’s spokesman James Kersey.

The shooting occurred at the School of Choice in Pahokee, an alternative facility for youngsters 14 to 21 considered in danger of dropping out. It draws students from around western Palm Beach County in south-central Florida, said spokesman Murray Harris of the Palm Beach County school district.

Dotson had been involved in a quarrel with some classmates Friday night in Belle Glade, 10 miles to the south, Kersey said.

″As a result of a fight there, some of the hard feelings came back to the school today,″ he said. ″One youngster brought a gun on campus.″

The two wounded classmates, boys aged 16 and 17 years who suffered minor arm injuries, may have been involved in the fight, but the victim, a 15-year- old girl from Pahokee, had no involvement in the dispute, Harris said.

The shooting took place during a morning break. Harris could not say if it occurred in a classroom building or outside on the campus.

″The faculty was extremely upset, and the students were sent home,″ Harris said.

The school will open normally Tuesday with increased security and crisis intervention teams present, he said.

Pahokee is located on the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee, about 75 miles northwest of Miami.

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