An incident of open firing attack at Florida high school claimed several lives in the US. Among the deceased, more than 15 were students. It is said to be one of the deadliest school shootings on record in the country.
As per the officials, another 14 were injured at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the small city of Parkland, around 45 miles north of Miami.
Post the manhunt, Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student is believed to be the suspect in this case. As per the school authorities, he was expelled from the school for disciplinary issues. The teacher had already warned about him being a serious threat to the campus.
Just by the time classes were dismissed for the day Cruz started firing the bullets into the high school hallway. The authorities reported that Cruz carried “countless magazines” and an AR-15 rifle.
The research by Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit group which advocates for gun control shows that it was the 18th shooting of the year either in or around school premises.
According to the Florida senator Bill Nelson, who was briefed by the FBI on the issue, the shooter wore a gas mask and carried smoke grenades. In order to ensure that the victims do not escape into the hall, the fire alarm had been set off.
“It’s a horrific situation,” Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie told reporters after the shooting. ”It is a day that you pray every day that you never have to see.”
He added: “We didn’t have any phone calls or threats that we know of that were made. We cannot live in a world built on fear, we have do what we can to provide the greatest safety measures for our kids.”
On being asked if the incident was related to mental health, Mr Runcie said: “No sane person is going to go and commit such an atrocity.”
Majority of the victims were rushed to a nearby hospital soon after the shooting. As per the schedule, school day at Stoneman Douglas typically ends at 2.40 pm. It was at 2.53 pm that the Broward County Sheriff’s Department tweeted about the incident.
“We have already begin to dissect his websites and some of the social media he was on”, Mr Israel said of the steps taken to look into Mr Cruz’s background. He called some of the content “very disturbing”.
Just a few hours later, the suspect was taken into custody after being tracked down without incident.
“It’s a horrific, horrific day. My triplets attended this school, and it’s horrible, just horrible,” Sheriff Israel said.
As per Jim Gard, a maths teacher who taught Cruz last year, the had been warned not to let the former student on campus with a backpack.
“There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus,” Mr Gard said.
Paying tribute to the victims, the US President Donald Trump tweeted, ‘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.’
Talking about the incident, the Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said, “This happens nowhere else other than the United States of America – this epidemic of mass slaughter, this scourge of school shooting after school shooting.”
“It only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible,” he added.