Police soon arrived on the scene and Penney started shooting at the officers. Both of the officers sustained injuries, one was shot in the foot, the other was hit in the face with flying glass when a round came through the windshield. But according to the St. Cloud police chief, the quick actions on the part of his officers forced Penney to retreat and ultimately, he shot himself.
Penney shot himself in the chin and was listed in critical condition at a local hospital but he is expected to survive.
Classmates said Penney was really into guns and war. A police officer who worked at Penney's school described the youth as very reserved, expect when he was discussing his fascination with firearms. In addition to the note found in his room police also found a drum magazine for an AK-47 loaded with an many an 100 rounds.
According to police, Penney owned the guns legally and has no criminal record. It is legal under federal law and Florida state law for an 18-year-old to purchase an AK-47. There is no licensing requirement, no registration requirement, nor is there a waiting period.
"On occasion, these strained young men, as far as where they are with their mental state, have the ability to purchase these guns," said the police chief.
"It could have been much much worse," he continued. "It could have been involving a neighborhood. It could have been involving a school. It could have been involving a shopping center or something way off the charts."