Marion County shooting: 1 dead, 1 detained in shooting outside North Marion Middle School, deputies say

One man has died, and another is in custody following a shooting in a Florida middle school parking lot, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said the shooting happened near North Marion Middle School in Citra shortly before 7 p.m. 

Man allegedly shoots, kills fiancée's ex in custody battle outside Marion County middle school

The suspect, 34-year-old Roderick Kelvin Watson Jr., was arrested and charged with second degree murder with a firearm and is being held with no bond, according to deputies. 

The victim was identified as 32-year-old Joseph James Juarez Coles. 

A spokesperson for Marion County Public Schools said the shooting happened in the parking lot. No students were involved, the spokesperson said.

According to Lt. Paul Bloom of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), North Marion Middle School was packed with students, parents, and staff on Wednesday night when gunshots rang out around 6 p.m.

Bloom said an awards ceremony was taking place inside the school when one man shot and killed another. 

"The ensuing investigation revealed that the school was hosting a student awards ceremony inside when the victim and Watson became involved in a verbal argument in the parking lot of the school," the sheriff's office said in a statement. 

Watson allegedly shot the unarmed man multiple times and began punching him as he was unconscious on the ground. When deputies arrived, Watson surrendered peacefully. 

"When we arrived, we found one victim:  an adult male. Our detectives confirmed he was shot by another adult male who was taken into custody. He was still here at the scene, and detectives took him into custody, and he’s being interviewed as we speak," Lt. Bloom said. "I can’t confirm if they were parents of any students or relatives or what the relation was, but they were here most likely for this award ceremony."

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  (FOX 35 Orlando)

North Marion Middle School is located near NW 21st Ct. and W. Highway 329 in Citra, Florida. Citra is nearly 30 miles south of Gainesville.

A parent who didn’t want to be named told FOX 35’s Hannah Mackenzie that she and her children were just feet away from the gunfire. She said she grabbed her daughters and ran for cover to their car. 

"It’s an emotional and certainly scary time for parents, but also for these children," Lt. Bloom said.

According to the school's online calendar, the last day of school for students is Friday. Lt. Bloom said that while there is no threat to the public, he added that additional law enforcement will be at the school over the next few days.