A reported 17 are dead in the latest mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
A 19-year-old former student of Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School opened fire at the school in the early afternoon of February 14. There are thought to be at least 20 victims, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, quoting officials of the county, said there have been “a number of fatalities.”
“This is a really bad day,” Senator Nelson said. The shooting occurred even with multiple police officers occupying the campus.
“There typically are at least two, two cars of law enforcement individuals on our campus, on a daily basis,” superintendent Robert Runcie said in an interview. The initial shots occurred at 2:30 p.m., just before the school was dismissed for the afternoon. Many students relayed to reporters on the scene that they heard six to seven gunshots ring out before closing classroom doors and taking cover. SWAT teams eventually flooded the school and safely removed students classroom-by-classroom.
The suspect, Nikolas Cruz, was a student at the high school where the devastation took place, but was expelled for what have been deemed “disciplinary reasons.” Cruz was apprehended a mile from the school’s campus and taken into custody without incident. He is said to have had an AR-15 rifle and “countless magazines,” according to Sheriff Israel.