At least 17 people are confirmed dead and several others injured after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened first at a high school campus in Parkland, Florida:
At least 17 people are dead after a 19-year-old man opened fire at a high school campus in Parkland, Florida. The suspect was Nikolas Cruz, a former student at the school who had been expelled. He escaped with fleeing students but is now in police custody. As the attack unfolded students were forced to hide as police swooped in on the building. It is the deadliest school shooting since 26 people were killed at Connecticut school Sandy Hook in 2012. It is the sixth school shooting incident this year so far that has either wounded or killed students.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters Mr Cruz killed three people outside the school, before entering the building and killing another 12. Two people later died after being taken to hospital. “It’s catastrophic. There really are no words,” Sheriff Israel tweeted later.
Local media report that Mr Cruz bought his gun, an AR-15, legally. The shooting will undoubtedly re-ignite the debate about gun bans, and who should have access to them. The National Rifle Association (“NRA”) refuses to back down on limiting guns on the street. President Trump has sided with the NRA and refused to introduce the idea of gun control. If people want access to high-powered weapons then they can always join the military. There is no reason to have semi-automatic weapons on the street – you want to engage in mass killings.
There have been 18 school shootings in the U.S. in 2018 already, and there will be more to come. Maybe there haven’t been enough people who have died from mass shootings. Maybe there there need to be hundreds of mass shootings each year for the next five to ten years before lawmakers capitulate. Maybe loved ones of politicians need to be hurt before they do something. That said, this has gotten to the point where it is past ridiculous.
How the attack unfolded
The attack reportedly began at 14:30 local time (19:30 GMT) on Wednesday at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland; Parkland is about an hour north of Miami. According to the school district students and staff heard what sounded like gunfire. Witnesses say the suspect set off the fire alarm before he began shooting. This likely hindered the crowd’s ability to discern where the gunshots were coming from, and/or caused students to rush out of the classrooms and make them easier targets for the gunman.
Some teachers and students fled while others hid inside classrooms. Police and swat team members bombarded the campus and cleared students from the school. Mr. Cruz had been expelled from Parkland for “disciplinary reasons,” and might have been considered “disgruntled.” Rumors suggest Cruz was expelled after a fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. He was taken into custody without incident in Coral Springs about an hour after he left the school.
The U.S. is a powder keg right now. Odds are there will be more mass killings in schools and other public spaces. When will it end?