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1 dead, 20 injured in shooting at South Florida high school

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Several people are reportedly injured after a shooting in a south Florida high school Wednesday and the suspect is still at large, police said.
AP

Numerous people are dead and more than 20 others are injured after a mass shooting at a south Florida high school Wednesday, officials said. 

The gunman was taken into custody nearly two hours after the shooting was reported, authorities said. 

The shooting happened about 2 p.m. at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which is about 30 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale, according to the Coral Springs Police Department. 

Broward County Sheriff’s Office said there are at least 14 victims but did not say how many of those were injured or killed.

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said “multiple fatalities” have been reported.

“It’s a horrific situation. It’s just a horrible day for us,” he said. “…This is a day we prayed would never happen in our county.” 

He said every high school in the county has a police presens, adding there are typically two officers at every school. 

Margate Fire Chief Dan Booker told the Miami Herald that the shooting was a mass casualty incident. He confirmed more than 20 were injured, although he could not confirm exactly how many have been injured or how many were shot.

The school district released a statement explaining the shooting happened closed to dismissal time. When students heard what sounded like gunfire, the school was placed on lockdown. 

Police believe they know who the gunman is and have described him as someone who possibly attended the school and was a member of the JROTC program. Authorities said he was wearing a hoodie and has red hair. 

Runcie said it’s possible the suspect is a former student. 

Many students have described the chaos starting with a fire alarm sounding in the school—then the gunfire started. 

Television footage showed the terrifying moments outside the school. Students ran single file from the building with their hands in the air — throwing backpacks into a large pile and huddling under trees across the street. 

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Worried parents crowded around the the school, some asking television crews what they should do to get information on their child. Students cried when they reunited with their parents. 

Footage outside the school showed students being treated on sidewalks and loaded into ambulances. 

As students scrambled to safety, law enforcers with weapons drawn approached the building and emergency vehicles converged on the scene.

The White House released a statement as details of the shooting were still being released. 

“The president has been made aware of the school shooting in Florida,” Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said. “We are monitoring the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.”

The incident comes just weeks after a shooting at a rural Kentucky high school. In that incident, a 15-year-old faces two counts of murder and 12 counts of first-degree assault after police said he killed two and wounded more than a dozen others in a shooting spree at Marshall County High School in Benton.

The Kentucky shooting followed two others at or near a U.S. school in January.

More: 20 years in, shootings have changed schools in unexpected ways

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