UPDATED: 4:30 PM
Police have a suspect in custody and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office reports that at least 14 victims have been transported to area hospitals. Robert Runcie, Broward County Public Schools superintendent, said that there were “numerous fatalities.”
According to law enforcement sources, the shooter in custody is a 19-year-old former student, Nicolas de Jesus Cruz.
“So far we have at least 14 victims. Victims have been and continue to be transported to Broward Health Medical Center and Broward Health North hospital,” said the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
The nation’s 13th school shooting of the year is not likely to produce any response in Congress, since lawmakers have failed to respond with serious action since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut.
“An American nightmare is unfolding Wednesday afternoon at a North Broward high school where a former student reportedly came onto campus and opened fire, killing and injuring multiple people,” said a report in the Miami Herald. “Details remain cloudy amid a flurry of police activity at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland off the Sawgrass Expressway. Students, who heard a fire alarm go off just before dismissal, followed by guns shots, fled off campus and hid under desks as police sped to the scene. Parents, blocked from getting onto campus, stood by helpless.”
Lisa McCormick, a Democratic activist in New Jersey, said politicians have neglected firearms safety and some have profited off of gun manufacturing. McCormick said legislation permitting guns in K-12 schools have been introduced in 15 states (CO, FL, IN, KY, MD, MN, MO, MT, ND, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV and WY) and 14 states are considering bills permitting firearms on college campuses (AR, FL, GA, IA, IN, KS, KY, MN, MO, OK, SC, TN, WV and WY).
“There is a sickness in America when children get killed and politicians do nothing,” said McCormick, who has frequently raised concerns about the high number of crimes that go unsolved even after being reported to police. “I am encouraging ordinary people to run for elected office because voters cannot make good choices when there are no alternatives on the ballot.”
“My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting,” President Donald Trump said on Twitter. “No child, teacher, or anyone should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”
At least one person is dead and as many as 20 are reported injured after the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
Agents from the Miami office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are responding to Parkland, a city of more than 20,000 people outside Boca Raton in Broward County, Florida.
Stoneman Douglas High School had an enrollment of about 3,100 students in the 2015-16 year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Seven-year-old school shooting survivor Ava Olsen asked the President how he will keep kids safe from gun violence. He has yet to give her a specific answer http://cnn.it/2spLkSf
In 2016, Olsen, who was on the playground during the shooting at Townville Elementary, her South Carolina school, survived the incident but her best friend Jacob did not.
Devastated by the incident, Ava picked up a pencil and wrote to the President. “I wanted … some people to keep kids safe, because my brother was at school, and I was afraid that something was going to happen to him,” she said.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that several people are being treated for injuries outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where a gunman began shooting Wednesday morning.
The Florida incident is at least the 13th shooting so far this year on school property.
Coral Springs police were advising that people should avoid the neighborhood, where 3,208 children in grades 9 through 12 are enrolled at the school.
The extent of injuries remain unknown but some reports counted as many as 20 injuries. SWAT units and FBI agents were said to be responding.
“Broward County Sheriff’s Office is working a developing incident regarding a report of active shooter located at 5901 Pine Island Rd, Parkland,” said a statement. “Here’s what we know so far: deputies are responding to reports of a shooting at Stoneman Douglas High. There are reports of victims.”
Several students being treated outside the High School could be seen on all three major cable TV news channels. The situation is still in the emergency-stages and authorities are setting up triage.
The gunman had not been captured and police do not yet know the number of victims.
The gunman had some kind of long rifle and was described as wearing a black hat, a maroon or burgundy colored shirt and black pants. He was last seen on the west side of a three story building on campus.
The agency also advised students and teachers in the locked down school to remain barricaded inside until officers reach them.
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