Parkland Shooting Update: A veil of sadness hangs over South Florida as law officials and rest of the nation try to comprehend the unfathomable tragedy that unfolded at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday. At least 17 individuals lost their lives and many were injured when 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fired using a semiautomatic rifle both inside and outside of the school.
Cruz was a former student of the high school near Coral Springs, but was expelled for what it being called disciplinary reasons.
Social media accounts believed to be from the suspected shooter diplayed a massive firearm collection and messages about killing law enforcement. Students who knew or attended school with Cruz say he was an intentional loner who seemed unapproachable.
Many students have reported knowing that Cruz possessed firearms.
Police say the discovered “countless” magazines filled with ammunition upon Cruz’s apprehension.
Reports revealed that Cruz was armed with smoke grenades and a gas mask. Police scoured video which lead them to find Cruz leaving the school, trying to blend in with students. The suspect was able to make his way off of the campus of Marjory Stone Douglas High School, but authorities arrested him shortly thereafter.
Cruz was briefly transported for medical care then charged with 17 counts of murder and booked into Broward’s Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale.
Details regarding the victims and those who were killed in what was one of the worst school shootings in American history are still being processed. We will continue to follow and bring you reliable, accurate information on this South Florida tragedy.
The following is our article from Feb. 14, 2018:
Broward County, South Florida – Mass Shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School – Multiple killed
Update: Reports confirm at least 17 individuals have died. Suspect’s name is Nikolaus Cruz, 19. (Nikolas Cruz)
The Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, near Coral Springs, was riddled with gunfire on Wednesday. The Broward County Sheriff’s office reports that there are multiple fatalities, at least 20 injured, and the suspected shooter is now in custody.
Sheriff Scott Israel said the of the horrific event, “It’s catastrophic. There really are no words.” The Sheriff confirmed that at least 16 individuals were killed and many were transported to area hospitals for vary levels of injuries.
The department reported via social media that they have one suspect in custody. The alleged shooter is said have once been a student at the Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, but was not currently enrolled. There were no additional details given about how he gained entrance to the school. He is thought to be about 18 years old.
Broward County Schools superintendent Robert Runcie said that the shooter was both outside and inside the school and may have accessed the building during dismissal.
Student sources say that the school had a fire drill earlier in the day. Then, at about 2:30 p.m., they heard the fire alarm followed by what sounded like gunshots. Chaos broke out as students scrambled for safety. The school went into lockdown mode with students and faculty hiding barricaded behind desks, in closets, and hunkered in locked classrooms. Many students took to their cell phones to contact parents, some say they called 9-1-1.
FBI and ATF agents as well as Coral Springs police and Broward County Sheriff’s officers made way to the active shooter scene. At one point, what appeared to be a SWAT team forced entry into the school and shortly thereafter students began to stream out of the building with hands over their heads, running to assigned areas.
The scene remained active through Wednesday afternoon and students and faculty exited in spurts at times.
Parents were not allowed near campus due to the severe danger as the gunman remained at large. Scared and worried parents say that they were not immediately given any information, which worsened their anxiety about their students’ well-being.
The Broward County Sheriff’s eventually directed parents to wait for and retrieve their students from a nearby Marriot Resort.
We will continue to update this story as more reliable information becomes available.