A shooting has been reported at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, according to local police. Seventeen staff and students are dead at this time, according to The Daily Beast.
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It is the deadliest school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and one of over a dozen shootings at schools in 2018 alone. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, or just Douglas High School, will be closed for the remainder of the week.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will be closed Thursday, February 15 and Friday, February 16, 2018, (for the rest of this week). All school activities are also cancelled.
— Broward Schools (@browardschools) February 15, 2018
Students interviewed by WSVN say the shooting began on the second floor of the high school’s freshman building. Police ordered students and teachers to remain barricaded until police reach them.
Students/Teachers #Douglas High School Remain barricaded inside until police reach you.
— Coral Springs Police (@CoralSpringsPD) February 14, 2018
The shooting generated an enormous police response including at least one SWAT team equipped with a Bearcat vehicle and numerous paramedic teams. Margate Fire Department Chief Dan Booker confirmed to the Miami Herald that the department responded to a “mass casualty” event. The department estimates the incident–at this time–at “20-50” victims, per a Florida CBS affiliate.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office says the first calls came in around 2:30 p.m. local time.
A suspect has been taken into custody, according to CNN. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel called the shooting “catastrophic,” in comments made to CNBC, and said the suspect in custody “at one time” attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school. He was taken into custody off-campus without incident, says Israel.
“There really are no words,” he added.
The shooter has been identified as 19-year-old Nikolas De Jesus Cruz, a former student and JROTC member with a history of disciplinary problems at the school and “anger issues.” He had been identified as a “threat” before today’s shooting.
President Donald Trump tweeted “prayers and condolences” to the victims and families of the victims, adding that “no child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”
This is a developing story.