Students and staff of a Lakeland middle school were greeted by grief counselors and a growing memorial on their campus Monday after a teacher and assistant principal there were found fatally shot in Brandon on Friday.
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Lisa Fuillerat, a sixth-grade math teacher at Lake Gibson Middle School, and Samara Routenberg, an assistant principal there, died Friday morning in a shootout with Fuillerat's estranged husband, according to the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office. Deputies say Vicente Fuillerat, 53, broke into the home on Hickory Creek Drive where the women were living as a couple.
Lisa Fuillerat, 51, and Routenberg, 39, armed themselves and opened fire at Vincente Fuillerat, who wore a bullet resistant vest and was armed with a shotgun. He shot both women dead and then fatally shot himself.
As the news began to spread, mourners stopped by Lake Gibson Middle, on North Socrum Loop Road just north of the city limits, to hang cards, flowers and balloons on the school's chain link fence.
Kyle Kennedy, a spokesman for the school district, said it's standard for counselors to stand ready when tragedy involves student or staff members. But the loss of a beloved teacher and administrator at the same school from a violent murder is uncharted territory.
"This is something new for us," Kennedy said.
Friday afternoon was supposed to bring Lisa Fuillerat closer to the divorce she'd been fighting for since October 2015. When she and her husband failed to show up for their scheduled court hearing, her attorney called deputies and requested that they check her home. They discovered the scene about 2 p.m.
Principal Alain Douge said Saturday that Routenberg oversaw the school's guidance department and described Lisa Fuillerat as a dedicated math teacher known for helping struggling students break down complex math problems.
As authorities investigated over the weekend, an electronic sign in front of the school flashed a message from happier times, congratulating Fuillerat as a "high-impact teacher."
Contact Tony Marrero at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.
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