Florida shooting: What we know so far about latest act of gun violence to hit a US school

Teenage suspect Nikolas Cruz is currently being held in custody

Jeremy B. White
San Francisco
Thursday 15 February 2018 01:57
Comments
Florida shooting: What we know so far

A gunman opened fire at a Florida high school, summoning grimly familiar scenes of fleeing students and distraught parents.

The Valentine's Day bloodshed is the latest outbreak of gun violence that has become a regular occurrence at schools and college campuses across the United States over the past several years.

It was the 18th shooting in a U.S. school so far this year, according to gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety. That tally includes suicides and incidents when no one was injured, as well as the January shooting in which a 15-year-old gunman killed two fellow students at a Benton, Kentucky, high school.

Here is what we know about the incident in Florida so far:

What happened?

The assailant began firing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School toward the end of the school day, spraying bullets both inside and outside the school and sending classrooms into lockdown.

Authorities apprehended the suspected shooter off of the school’s campus and took him into a custody about an hour after the incident.

The large high school is in the city of Parkland, about an hour north of Miami.

How many people died?

As of now, sheriff’s officials have identified 17 victims. That number could rise as more information continues to come in.

Of those victims, five died outside of the school and 12 were shot inside the building.

What weapons were used?

The assailant was wielding an AR-15, a semiautomatic rifle that has been used in other mass shootings, and had “multiple magazines,” Mr Israel said.

Is there a suspect?

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has identified the suspect as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who had been expelled for disciplinary reasons.

Investigators are already piecing together information about Mr Cruz, and Mr Israel said they have quickly turned their focus to Mr Cruz’s online footprint.

Some of the content they have found is “very disturbing”, Mr Israel said.

The teenager is in custody.

What has been the reaction?

Donald Trump weighed in on Twitter by saying his “prayers and condolences” were with the families of the victims, adding that “No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school”. He said he had spoken to Florida Gov Rick Scott.

Other elected officials called the shooting the latest evidence that America must pass new laws to try and stem periodic mass gun violence.

Senator Bernie Sanders said that after numerous school shootings since the start of 2018, “Congress might want to consider common-sense gun safety legislation and save innocent lives”.

Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy said on the Senate floor that “this happens nowhere else other than the United States of America”, which he called “a consequence of our inaction”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in