Florida, Feb 15: At least 17 people were killed in another horrifying high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, at the hands of an expelled student. The ex-student, identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz – armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, smoke grenades, and multiple magazines – stormed inside the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School premises and opened fire indiscriminately.
The panic-stricken students and teachers took shelter under the desks as he continued firing. The Florida school shooting in now among the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history. The gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety said that the Florida mass shooting was the 18th shooting in a US school so far this year.
Cruz was taken into custody nearly two hours after the shooting was reported, authorities said. The gunman, the reports said, surrendered to the police without a struggle.
At least 12 people died inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, two died just outside the school building, one victim died in a nearby street and two died in hospital, a Broward County sheriff confirmed. Soon after the shooting was reported, officers surrounded the campus and started evacuating from the scene.
Some of the terrified students hid inside the closets and under desks. The attacker had used the fire alarm “so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall,” Students said that they first thought it was a fire drill alarm until they heard gun-shots.
“It’s a horrific, horrific day. My triplets attended this school, and it’s horrible, just horrible,” Broward County sheriff Scott Israel confirmed said confirming the mass shooting inside the school. He said that the accused student was “expelled for disciplinary reason” and the police have found “very disturbing” material on Cruz’s social media profile.
“He had countless magazines, multiple magazines. One AR-15. I do not know if he had a second,” he added.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter and extended condolences to the families of the victims. “My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school,” Trump wrote.
Briefing the media on the Florida school shooting, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, “The President has spoken with Governor Scott of Florida and offered federal assistance if needed. We continue to keep the victims, and their friends and family, in our thoughts and prayers.”