FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida student has died after he jumped off the third-story building at his school, and fire rescue officials are calling it a suicide.

“The individual had taken his own life in an act of suicide,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan, “and had left messaging prior to doing that.”

The incident happened at Fort Lauderdale High School at 1600 NE 4th Ave., Thursday, shortly before 10 that morning.

“This morning, unfortunately, we are mourning the loss of one of our own students,” said Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Vickie L. Cartwright. “Our entire school community is feeling the pain.”

7Skyforce hovered over the scene where police taped off the stairwell on the east side of the three-story building.

The 17-year-old male senior was rushed to Broward Health Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries.

7News has learned that several students witnessed the incident.

“One girl heard a thud,” said Samuel Fernandez, a student. “A lot of people heard thuds, and I think I heard from the culinary classroom, you could actually see him being wheeled out.”

School counselors are currently speaking with them and their families.

Upon hearing of what happened, parents arrived at the school to pick up and check on their children.

“We need to take the time to see all of our students and to see them from their perspective of how heavy the world must seem,” said Melissa Sherman, whose daughter attends class at the school. “I think, because as adults sometimes we tend to brush off things that our kids experience, but we never really know what’s going on. Listen to your kids.”

The school was placed on lockdown to avoid other students from witnessing the trauma.

“I think we need to do something more about mental health,” said Paola McDonald. “Get together with your kids. Talk. Be there for them when they need to, even when they don’t want to talk.”

Cartwright urged parents to speak with their children and to reach out to their school and counselors if they believe their students may be in distress.

Fort Lauderdale High School Principal Erin Brown shared a message to families regarding the incident, which read in part, “If any student or family member is feeling overwhelmed with loss or grief or just needs help, please reach out to the school. You can also access help after school hours by calling 211 or get help through Broward Schools website This is a tragic loss of life and will be difficult for all of us. We will get through this together.”

“Our heart goes out to the family, the individuals’ family, Fort Lauderdale High School family,” said Gollan.

This marks the second time this school year that a student jumped from a school building. Back in August, a student at Palmetto Senior High School jumped from a third-floor building.

Grief counselors will be on campus through the week and next week, as well.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Copyright 2022 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox