The teen gunman suspect, identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at his former high school in Parkland, Florida, leading to the deaths of at least 17 children.
Cruz had recently been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for disciplinary reasons and was enrolled elsewhere in the district. The FBI was alerted six months ago after a YouTube user named “Nikolas Cruz” posted a comment stating “I’m going to be a professional school shooter” on the video site, BuzzFeed.
The gunman was believed to have been armed with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle and multiple magazines, said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
There was no indication that the gunman had an accomplice or accomplices, federal and local authorities said. The suspect was treated for “labored breathing” as a precaution but was later released from the hospital.
The gunfire began outside the school and continued inside, where 12 of the victims were killed, Israel said. Parkland, in north Broward County, is about 30 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale. The shooting on the sprawling campus happened despite the presence of police officers at the school.
Several students told NBC News that the school had gone through a fire drill earlier in the day. They said the fire alarm sounded again just before the shots were heard. President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that there were “many signs the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed.
There have been over 6,500 shooting incidents across the USA so far, leading to the death of over 1,820 children and injuring more than 3,100 others.
The Wednesday mass shooting at a high school in Florida was the 18th shooting at an school since the beginning of 2018, that is one shooting every 60 hours.
NBC / AA Magnum News 2018.