JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Police have identified a 16-year-old male as the alleged gunman who shot at a Jacksonville school bus Thursday, injuring two teenage girls.
The victims were not the intended targets in the attack, said the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Director of Investigations, Tom Hackney.
The alleged shooter and two others had arranged to meet two of the male students who were on the bus, so they could fight, Hackney said. The suspect's friends told police that at first they didn't realize the shooter had brought a gun.
"The two that weren't armed, that were there just to fight, when they realized what (the suspect's) intent was, they fled the scene," Hackney said. He indicated the two boys who fled were the persons of interest brought in by police for questioning Thursday night, but they are not likely to face charges.
48 Hours' Crimesider is not naming the suspect, because he is a juvenile.
The two groups of teens had planned to fight because one set of boys had said disrespectful things about a deceased friend of the other boys, Hackney said.
As the bus approached around 4 p.m., Hackney said the suspect began shouting at people inside the bus. At some point, he says, an unidentified person from within the bus spit on the suspect.
"At or about the same time, the alert bus driver ... sees the gun in (the suspect's) hand and floors the bus," Hackney said.
Five shots were fired at the bus, two missed, two hit the female victims, and one hit the bus but didn't injure anyone.
One victim was shot in the cheek, and another was hit in the back, Hackney said, who added that the small caliber gun used by the suspect is "probably the only reason that we don't have two dead girls."
The suspect's mother is cooperating with police, and is attempting to help police locate the teen, Hackney said.
He is considered armed and dangerous.