Ocoee Middle School coping with loss of new student - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Ocoee Middle School coping with loss of new student

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POLK COUNTY, TN. (WRCB)-- The Polk County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate a shooting that left a young man dead. Thirteen-year-old Gunner Robinson passed away Friday afternoon.

School officials say they are working to prepare fellow students for the difficult loss.

"Having friends and having the support that surrounds you is the only thing that's going to pull you through a situation like this," says Ocoee Middle School Principal Ron Spangler.

Spangler says he got word Friday that 8th grader Gunner Robinson was in the hospital.

"We had received information that we had a student that may have been involved in a gunshot incident," he says.

Gunner suffered a bullet wound to his head at his home in Polk County Thursday morning and was taken to Children's Hospital at Erlanger where he passed away Friday afternoon.

Friends and family set up a Facebook page, leaving words of comfort.

"It's hard to plan for these type of occasions, when you lose a 13-year-old young man that was a very energetic and a very active part of our campus."

Spangler says Gunner recently transferred to Ocoee Middle in Bradley County.

"He'd only been with us for three weeks but he was already starting to really, you know, get to know some friends. He enjoyed his classes," says Spangler.

He says Gunner seemed to like his new surroundings.

"He had some friends that he had made here. One of his close friends had come with him from Polk County and they both indicated that they were having a smooth transition to a larger school," says Spangler.

Spangler says he is in constant communication with Gunner's family and the school continues to offer its thoughts and prayers of support.

"Even though we had Gunner for about three weeks, he's one of ours and we will continue to support them and be there for them."

Gunner had hopes of being on the school's baseball team. The school has already declared him an honorary member.

There will be counselors on hand when students return to class Tuesday.

This is still an active and open investigation, as the Polk County Sheriff's Office looks into the shooting.

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