A Florida school shooting has claimed 17 lives and left several people injured Wednesday after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, authorities said.
The campus was placed on lockdown as authorities led students to safety and first responders triaged the wounded.
The alleged shooter, a former student, was taken into custody without incident about four miles away in Coral Springs on the eastern edge of the Everglades.
He was identified late Wednesday as Nikolas Cruz, 19, who was armed with at least one AR-15 assault weapon and multiple ammunition magazines, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
“It’s horrible. It’s catastrophic,” said Israel. Cruz had been expelled by the school, the sheriff said, but it wasn’t immediately clear if he was still enrolled.
Authorities who later tracked the teenager’s internet posts found several that were “disturbing,” Israel said.
After receiving medical treatment for an undisclosed injury, Cruz was escorted to jail wearing a hospital gown.
The alleged gunman pulled a fire alarm at the school to lure students into hallways, authorities said.
“We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” said math teacher Jim Gard, who said Cruz had been in his class last year. “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus,” the instructor told the Miami Herald.
Students cowered in classrooms and closets as round after round was fired on campus. Facebook Live footage showed students screaming and crying as loud gunfire is heard outside.
12 people died inside the school, Israel said. Two died outside. Another was gunned down on a nearby street corner and two others died later while being treated in a nearby hospital.
Frantic parents were held back by law enforcement officers as they begged for word on their children. Some students were seen clutching Valentines as they ran from the school. It was also Ash Wednesday…