Parkland, FL – Sheriff: 17 Dead In Shooting At High School In South Florida

A law enforcement officer talks with students, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Parkland, Fla. The shooting at a South Florida high school sent students rushing into the streets as SWAT team members swarmed in and locked down the building (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
A law enforcement officer talks with students, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Parkland, Fla. The shooting at a South Florida high school sent students rushing into the streets as SWAT team members swarmed in and locked down the building (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

 

Parkland, FL – A former student at a Florida high school opened fire in the school on Wednesday, killing 17 and sending hundreds of panicked young people fleeing their classrooms before he was arrested by police, authorities said.

Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County says the 19-year-old suspect is in custody and that investigators are beginning to “dissect” what happened in the attack Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

He says the suspect, a former student, was previously expelled for disciplinary reasons.

Israel says the man had at least one rifle and multiple magazines.

He says most of the fatalities were inside the building though some were found fatally shot outside.

A man says he watched as officers arrested the suspect.

Michael Nembhard told The Associated Press he was in his garage watching TV news coverage of the shooting when he heard a police officer repeatedly yelling, “get on the ground!”

Nembhard says he looked up to see a teenage boy on the ground about 150 yards (meters) away with an officer pointing a gun at him. The officer stood over the boy until other officers arrived, handcuffed him and led him away.

A federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity identified the suspect as Nicolas Cruz. The official says he wasn’t authorized to discuss it publicly.

Staff and students told local media that a fire alarm went off around the time the shooting started, sparking chaos as some 3,000 students at the school first headed into hallways before teachers herded them back into classrooms, to seek shelter in closets.

Kyle Yeoward, a 16-year-old junior, told Reuters he was in the bathroom on the second floor of the building on the campus where most of the shooting took place, when he heard two shots.

“He let loose on the freshman building,” Yeoward said

McKenzie Hartley, 19, who identified herself as the sister of a student at the school described the scene in a text message to Reuters: “She heard him shooting through the windows of classrooms and two students were shot.”

Panicked parents checked on their children.

“It is just absolutely horrifying. I can’t believe this is happening,” Lissette Rozenblat, whose daughter goes to the school, told CNN. Her daughter called her to say she was safe but the student also told her mother she heard the cries of a person who was shot.

“She was very nervous. She said that she could hear the person who was shot crying out for help,” she said.

Televised images showed dozens of students, their arms in the air, weaving their way between law enforcement officers with heavy weapons and helmets, and large numbers of emergency vehicles including police cars, ambulances and fire trucks.

The school had recently held a meeting to discuss what to do in such an attack, Ryan Gott, a 15-year-old freshman told CNN.

“My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting,” U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter. “No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”

As reported by Vos Iz Neias

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