Florida shooting: Suspect in custody as ‘number of fatalities’ reported at high school

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  • Suspect in custody following shooting at Florida high school
  • Gunman reportedly wore gas mask and set off the fire alarm
  • 14 victims of school shooting, Broward sheriff confirms
  • “Multiple fatalities” confirmed by school superintendent
  • Shooting is 13th in a US school this year so far

 

Police in Florida have arrested a teenager after a mass shooting at a high school in the town of Parkland.

Local media reports initially suggested up to seven people were dead, with 14 taken to hospital.

The gunman was reported to be a former pupil of the school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Florida senator Bill Nelson, said he had been told several students were killed.

“It is quite alarming, but it appears there are a number of fatalities in this terrible tragedy,” he told MSNBC.

Some pupils said a fire alarm went off at around 2.40pm and they went outside. Then they began to hear sounds like “balloons popping” and see teachers acting frantically.

One pupil said they heard five or six gunshots and people began running back into the school. Another said their friend had texted her to say: “There’s a lot of blood.”

The Broward County school board confirmed multiple injuries.

While police were hunting for the gunman pupils hid in classrooms.

One sent a text message to a local news reporter, saying: “All of a sudden there was a really loud noise…..people are crying the closet.”

Television stations showed pupils  leaving the buildings with their hands on their heads, watched by armed police. Some were seen running.

Lissette Rozenbley, whose daughter was evacuated from the school, told CNN: “My daughter was texting, she was very nervous, she could hear a person shot crying out for help. She was a nervous wreck. I told her ‘I love you’.”

She added: “I was flipping out today that there is no gun control at the schools. You can take in whatever you want in your backpack which I find insane.

“It’s amazing there are not security measures in place to stop something like this.”

Cameras showed one person being taken away on a stretcher from the school, which has 3,208 teenagers aged between 14 and 18, and 129 teachers.

It was the 18th school shooting in the US this year.  

10:55PM

Other pupils had predicted suspect would ‘shoot up school’

One pupil at the school said other teenagers had long thought the suspect would “shoot up the school”.

The pupil told WFOR-TV: “A lot of people were saying it was going to be him. A lot of kids threw jokes around saying that he was going to be the one to shoot up the school.

“It turns out that everyone predicted it. That’s crazy.

“He was going class to class just shooting at random kids. Everything he posts (on social media) is about weapons. It’s sick.”

10:41PM

School had previously sent email warning about shooter, teacher says

A teacher at the school told the Miami Herald the shooter had previously been identified as a threat.

The teacher said the school had sent out an email warning staff about him and saying that he should not be allowed into the school with a backpack.

Jim Gard, a maths teacher, told the Miami Herald: “We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him.

“There were problems with him last year threatening students, and and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”

10:36PM

‘Up to seven people dead’ local TV station reports

CBS Miami reported that “as many as seven people are dead,” citing local sources.

10:10PM

First pictures of presumed suspect being arrested

A man, believed to be the suspect, is handcuffed

 

10:01PM

Gunman a previous student

Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County has just given a press conference.

He says:

He was not a current student.

He was previously a student, but I don’t know the circumstances.

I wasn’t there, but I was told there was no confrontation and he was taken into arrest without incident.

I believe he was approximately 18 years old.

We believe the school is cleared, but we are still checking. When I hear all clear we begin the next phase of the investigations.

We know 14 people were transported to area hospitals with varying wounds.

9:58PM

Gunman reportedly a former student

Brandon, a student, said the suspected gunman was a former student.

“He told me he got kicked out of two private schools, and was held back twice.

“He seemed a little off.”

9:56PM

Parents await news

Family members embrace after a student walked out from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

 

9:38PM

Students text their terrified parents

My colleague Nick Allen writes:

Caesar Figuero was texting with his daughter who was still in the school.

He said: “She’s trapped with 10 friends. Everyone was screaming and running. She ran into a closet and she’s still there.

“She’s saying people are shot or dead. Supposedly there was a student wearing a red shirt and one of the kids heard eight shots.

“Another student I spoke to said there was bodies all over the place and blood all over the place. There’s probably two or three hundred cops, parents crying.”

9:35PM

Former NYPD chief: “This is the new normal”

Bill Bratton, former NYPD chief, says the number of school shootings this year is “astonishing” – but calls it “the new normal”. 

He tells MSNBC: “The reality is, this is something that will just continue to occur.”

 

9:23PM

Gunman “wearing a gas mask”

My colleague Rozina Sabur writes:

The gunman was wearing a gas mask, according to Mail Online.

Police surrounded Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where the ‘heavily armed’ shooter, wearing a gas mask, pulled out a ‘long’ gun at just after 2pm and began shooting.

9:21PM

Photos taken by students

Photos taken by a student during the “active shooter” situation

Images inside the classroom

 

9:04PM

President Trump responds

 

9:03PM

White House responds

Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said: “The President has spoken with Governor Scott of Florida and offered federal assistance if needed. 

“Department of Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen also spoke with Governor Scott as well as state and local officials. She has briefed the President on those conversations. The Governor, the Secretary, and other Administration officials will continue to keep the President updated.

“In light of this tragedy there will not be a regularly scheduled briefing as previously announced. We will inform you as more information is available.

“We continue to keep the victims, and their friends and family, in our thoughts and prayers.”

9:02PM

18th school shooting this year

US Editor Ben Riley-Smith writes:

There have already been more than a dozen school shootings in 2018 in America, according to data collected by the non-profit organization Everytown for Gun Safety. 

Two teenagers were killed and 17 injured in a shooting at Marshall County High School, Kentucky, last month after a lone attacker fired a handgun apparently at random. 

Earlier this month a 12-year-old girl was alleged by police to have opened fire at students at an Los Angeles school, leaving a handful of students injured. 

9:01PM

Latest images from the scene

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida

 

8:57PM

Florida Senator confirms several dead

Bill Nelson, senator for Florida, said he had been told several students were killed.

“It is quite alarming, but it appears there are a number of fatalities in this terrible tragedy.”

8:55PM

“It’s sad these tragedies happen in our country”

Christine Hunschofsky, the mayor of Parkland, told NBC Miami:

“It’s sad. It’s sad that these tragedies happen in our country.

“Many of the students have been in touch with their parents. We have, many many parents out here.”

8:46PM

One person reported dead

Local media are now reporting one dead after the shooting. 

A local fire chief told the Miami Herald there has been one fatality, while Florida’s WSVN-TV reported at least 20 people may have been injured.





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