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PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — A former student opened fire at a Florida high school Wednesday, killing “numerous” people, sending students running out into the streets and SWAT team members swarming in before authorities took him into custody about a mile away.

Frantic parents rushed to the scene and ambulances converged in front of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Live footage showed emergency workers appearing to treat possibly wounded people on the sidewalks.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office tweeted Wednesday afternoon that “so far we have at least 14 victims.” The tweet added: “Victims have been and continue to be transported to Broward Health Medical Center and Broward Health North hospital.”

Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said there were “numerous fatalities.”

“It is a horrific situation.” He added, “It is a horrible day for us.”

The male shooter was identified as Nicolas Cruz, said a U.S. official briefed on the investigation. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the information publicly. Previously, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel had said the shooter was a former student. He said the shooter was outside and inside the school at points during the attack, and taken into custody “without incident” about an hour after he left the school. Israel said police were waiting for the SWAT team to give them the all-clear so that they could go inside the school.

Michael Nembhard said he was sitting in his garage about a mile away from the school watching the coverage on TV when he heard a police officer yelling, “Get on the ground, get on the ground, get on the ground!” He looked up and about 150 yards (140 meters) away he saw a teenage boy on the ground and an officer pointing a gun at him. The officer stood over the boy until other officers arrived, and the boy was handcuffed behind his back and taken away, Nembhard said.

At the school, Noah Parness, a 17-year-old junior, said the fire alarm went off for the second time of the day about 2:30 p.m. He said he and the other students calmly went outside to their fire drill areas when he suddenly heard several pops.

“Everyone was kind of just standing there calm, and then we saw a bunch of teachers running down the stairway, and then everybody shifted and broke into a sprint,” Parness said. “I hopped a fence.”

The high school is a sprawling complex set on a tract in the South Florida community of Parkland, about 45 miles (70 kilometers) north of downtown Miami.

The school had just over 3,100 students in the 2016-2017 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Major streets run along two sides and an expressway passes nearby on the other not far from a residential neighborhood of single-family homes.

Television footage showed police in olive fatigues, with weapons drawn, entering the school, then dozens of children frantically running and walking quickly out. A police officer waved the students on, urging them to quickly evacuate. Some students exited the building in single-file rows with hands raised overhead to show they carried no weapons. Others held onto other students as they made their way out past helmeted police in camouflage with weapons drawn.

The Broward Schools department said on its website that students and staff heard what sounded like gunfire and the school immediately went on lockdown.

Beth Feingold said her daughter, Brittani, sent a text at 2:32 p.m. that said, “We’re on code red. I’m fine,” but sent another text shortly afterward saying, “Mom, I’m so scared.”

Brittani later was able to escape the school, but was running along a busy road for part of the time, in what was a very chaotic scene around school — one of the state’s largest in the county with about 3,000 students.

Feingold said her daughter struggled with anxiety so she knew that she needed to stay calm. She told her daughter in a phone conversation when she was still inside a school building that a Swat team was there to protect her. She said she told her: “Your dad is on one side of the building, and I’m on the other.”

Feingold said there had been a fire drill in the morning. Then in fourth period, someone pulled the fire alarm again and shouted code red.

Caesar Figueroa said when he got to the school to check on his 16-year-old daughter, he saw police officers drawing machine guns as they approached the campus.

“My wife called me that there was an active shooter and the school was on lockdown. I got on the road and saw helicopters. … It was crazy and my daughter wasn’t answering her phone.” She finally texted him that she was inside a closet with friends.

Len Murray’s 17-year-old son, a junior at the school, sent his parents a chilling text around 2:30pm: “Mom and Dad, there have been shots fired on campus at school. There are police sirens outside. I’m in the auditorium and the doors are locked.”

A few minutes later, he texted again: “I’m fine.”

Murray said he raced to the school only to be stopped by authorities under a highway overpass within view of the school buildings. He said he told his son to save his battery and stop texting, while the boy’s mother told him to turn off his ringer.

No information has been provided yet to parents, he said. “I’m scared for the other parents here. You can see the concern in everybody’s faces. Everybody is asking, ‘Have you heard from your child yet?'” Murray said.

Murray said he’s had just one thought running through his mind since he got his son’s text: “All I keep thinking about is when I dropped him off this morning. I usually say, ‘I love you,’ and I didn’t this morning. He’s 17, he’s at that age, and I didn’t say it this morning, and I’m just kicking myself right now over and over and over. Say it early and often, I’m telling you.”

___

Associated Press writers Freida Frisaro Jennifer N. Kay contributed to this report.

PHOTO: AP

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35 thoughts on “17 Dead In Florida High School Shooting, Shooter Captured

    • specialt757 on said:

      Unfortunately for my black sisters and brothers, you’re allowed to breath the same air as us. You’re not worthy, nor is this s**t stain that shot up this school and killed innocent people because he, like you are first class dickheads and satan’s imps. My only hope is that he is treated like dirt and horse manure until he is dead, which by the way can’t come too soon for me.
      Btw, way to deflect, got that from your mentor the orange cheeto huh? Shouldn’t you be in the dark somewhere sucking on arsenic like the rest of the rats in your trailer?

    • Melvinowens on said:

      What these on line racist fail to realize is that metal detectors are placed at predominantly black school’s but are not in place at white school’s. The killings in Chicago are on the streets not in the school’s. Do these parents care whether their kids were killed in school rather than the streets? Death is death, whether it is at the hand of a gangbanger or white suburbanite teen. Put in metal detectors in white school’s and stop letting anybody get a gun without background checks.

      • Passing Through!! on said:

        In typical racist fashion they love talking about the violence in Chicago to justify their bulls**t. Any time some white male goes nuclear and starting killing the first thing they want to mention is Chicago and the shooter was a democrat.

      • Welllllll this year Chicago will rack up a body count higher than all the mass shootings over the last 10 years and the Vegas shooter WAS a Hilary supporter so she has blood on her hands just like Trumps a racist cause skin heads endorse him

      • Melvinowens on said:

        “violence is as American as apple pie”, and it is the white man who supply’s the weapons used to kill in the streets of Chicago and the white suburbs

  1. Mac Daddy on said:

    If gun control worked, Chicago would be Mayberry. This punk shooter was antifa, #resist, not my president. Social media is clear. You left, snowflake idiot, plantation worlkers OWN this

  2. Passing Through!! on said:

    @Specialt757
    but your congress doesn’t want to deal with it, because they are bought with a price from the gun loyalists. So sit your retarded a$$ down and stfu. People like you OWN this.
    +++
    Great post spot on!

  3. americanize on said:

    Here we go again,first of all nothing will be done I mean nothing about gun laws.Everything will remain the same.Now what are you white folks or going to do about white on white crime.White devils or imploding.The white male is far more of a threat than a terroist.

      • Passing Through!! on said:

        He probably got treated to a cheeseburger like Dylann Roof, but no I forgot Roof killed black people so he was handled with care.

      • Right americanize! They handled this criminal, mass shooter, and home grown american terrorist with kid gloves. It wouldn’t be Christian like to say what I want right now, but he’s one lucky SOB that I’m not one of those officers, he would have left the seen in a body bag, I would have “feared for my life”. Or is that only code when they kill a black suspect?
        Needless to say, this won’t be the last mass shooting in 2018, may not even be the last this month. This is business as usual, we’ve all become numb to this, our government refuses to do anything about it, but these are the people we want making laws for us. GTFOH! They don’t even make changes when they are the targets. Shame on America, building a f*****g wall to protect “outsiders” while not protecting us from the insiders.

  4. specialt757 on said:

    And look at BAW, got a picture of a non-white as photo for this article when the majority of the folks at the school were WHITE, including the d**m suspect. They are just as bad.

  5. specialt757 on said:

    18 SCHOOL SHOOTINGS SINCE IN 45 DAYS!!!! Who are the suspects? The people who put AR-15s and have a stock pile of ammunition & assault rifles above their own children’s lives. And let me tell you something else, when it comes to the crime in Chicago, the media want to put the # emphasis on the body count, but when it’s school shootings done by majority WHITE folks or white on white crimes, the count is on the occurrence because it’s the smaller of the two and they don’t want to make it seem horrific. Put the # of victims as the main focus. The news media is full of s**t.
    NO dickhead, we can’t blame this on Obama or frankly even the orange cheeto, these mass murders involving school shootings have been going on for quite some time, but your congress doesn’t want to deal with it, because they are bought with a price from the gun loyalists. They were put into office to make sure they enact laws to protect their 2nd amendment rights and that’s the one thing they have been successful at doing. While in the meantime hundreds to thousands of people have lost their lives to mass shootings in this “great” country of ours. So sit your retarded a$$ down and stfu. People like you OWN this.

  6. hoodtechie on said:

    funny how none of these comments appeared when 44 was in office and all the killing happened under his administration.i guess the country started crumbling around when he was office also.

  7. The Truth on said:

    Damn how many people and especially kids have to died before they open their eyes. 45 worrying about a wall and infrastructure..you need to Prioritize whats happening. Why medal decorator can’t be in every school. Make A special task force of Swat experince members school station. Find out how these guns are getting on the street. Tighter Gun laws spend the MONEY to SAVE the children. You want to pour money into the opiate crisis but NOT THE GUN CRISIS…I TRULY DON’T KNOW HOW ANY OF THESE KIDS CAN CONCERNTRATE IN SCHOOL OMG.EVERYONE SHOULD MARCH ON WASHINGTON!!!

  8. The fake prez is afraid to speak out on this tragedy. That says it all. But the bytch didn’t have a problem speaking out on the nfl players kneeling for equal justice. This country is crumbling around us each and every day.

    • Passing Through!! on said:

      He’s just too f**king stupid speak on his own. This is a man who is void of empathy or any kind of emotion and has sociopathic tendencies. Understand he has to be coached & prepped before he can make a statement or speak with the press. All of his handlers and speech writers know how dumb and unsympathetic he is, they have to be careful about putting him out front in the wake of a tragedy especially where children have been killed. We have never had a president this openly damn ignorant even George Bush had the intellect to speak during a crisis.

  9. I was listening to one of the teachers and like she said, the govt failed those students, ie. Marco Rubio. Rubio is against gun legislation. The republuthugs are responsible for another mass murderer. Rubio has these students blood on his hands.

    • A Hilary supporter is responsible for the worst mass shooting in US so by your logic she was responsible after all the worst mass school shooting occurred under her watch as first lady

      • So what is your fake prez going to do about these mass killings? He’ll just keep taking from the NRA. This country has a lot of blood on its hands.

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