In one of the deadliest shootings in the United States, a 19-year-old man on Wednesday opened fire with an assault-style rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, killing 17 people and injuring more than a dozen others. Police arrested him soon after the incident. The man was identified as Nikolas Cruz, a former student of the high school, who was expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons. Here’s what is known of the shooting so far:
What happened at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School?
A heavily armed young man barged into his former high school about an hour northwest of Miami on Wednesday. He opened fire at terrified students and teachers. Gunfire began with a few shots and then continued with more. Students were seen huddling in horror in their classrooms, with some of them training their cellphones on the carnage, capturing sprawled bodies, and screaming. Dozens of police and emergency services personnel swarmed the area immediately. In television footage, the students were seen streaming out of the building with hands raised in the air.
Who is behind the shooting?
The gunman, armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle, was identified as Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student, who had been expelled from the school for unspecified disciplinary reasons. He was enrolled at another Broward County school. Police and former classmates said that Cruz was a troubled former student who loved guns and was expelled for disciplinary reasons. Briefed by federal law enforcement officials, Florida’s two US senators said that Cruz was wearing a gas mask as he entered the school. He was carrying a rifle, ammunition cartridges and smoke grenades. Before firing, he pulled a fire alarm, prompting students and staff to come out from their classrooms into hallways. Cruz had been held back twice and aspired to join the military.
As a high school freshman, Cruz was part of the U.S. military-sponsored Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corp program at the school, according to Jillian Davis, 19, a recent graduate and former fellow JROTC member at Stoneman Douglas High.
How many are dead in the shooting?
The death toll is 17 till now which includes students and teachers and it can rise even higher, according to NYT. Twelve of the dead were killed inside the school, two others just outside, one more on the street and two other victims died of their injuries at a hospital, Israel said.
How has the Trump administration responded?
Expressing condolence, US President Donald Trump tweeted, “My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting.” “No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”