A furious mother whose son survived the Florida school shooting has spoken out, denouncing a country that has "gone bananas".
A gunman opened fire at the high school on Wednesday, killing 17 and leaving more than a dozen injured. A suspect, named by police as Nikolas Cruz, was arrested in the aftermath.
Aerial footage showed familiar scenes of frightened students spilling out of the school with their hands raised in the air to seek refuge. The latest outbreak of gun violence is the 18th shooting in a US school so far this year, according to Everytown for Gun Safety.
An unnamed mother whose son was trapped in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the small city of Parkland, around 45 miles north of Miami, launched into an angry tirade about the carnage.
'We can't let this go on... no more of our children can die anymore,' she told West Palm Beach News.
“Nothing is going to change. Nothing! Not one thing is going to change because this country has gone bananas!”
“My point is, and this is what everyone needs to hear in America... what is it going to take to make a change in this country?!” she later shouted.
She continued: “If they didn't do it for the four and five year-olds and they're not doing it for our 14 and 15-year-olds. Who are they going to make this change for?!”
Her son, who studies theatre at the school, described being inside the school's theatre room rehearsing at the time the teenagers heard the fire alarm go off for the second time that day.
Recounting what took place after the alarm, he said: “What happened was, four students stepped out, we heard three gunshots, and we all ran inside.
“There are two rooms in the theatre room. I went inside one of them, and five minutes passed and our teacher said she wanted everyone in the back room where we were safe,' he recalled of the moment, nervously.
He added: “An hour passed... there were 70 kids and there was a book keeping room where the SWAT team came and we ran. We just ran… It was scary. It was crazy.”
The suspect has been identified as Mr Cruz, a 19-year-old former who had been expelled for “disciplinary reasons”. Teachers said they had previously been warned he could pose a danger to the campus.
Police say that just as classes of pupils were being sent home for the day Mr Cruz started spraying bullets into the hallway of the school. Authorities said he had an AR-15 rifle and multiple magazines.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies