A shooting at a Florida high school has left 17 people dead, the local sheriff has confirmed. The suspected shooter has been detained.
A lone attacker opened fire outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida near the end of the school day, then proceeded inside and continued shooting. He left 17 people dead and at least a dozen injured, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed to the media.
Twelve of the deceased victims were found inside the school building, two were found just outside and one in the street nearby. Two more people have succumbed to their wounds in the hospital.
The injured victims were taken to Broward Health Medical Center and Broward Health North hospital.
The shooter, identified as 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, “was taken into arrest without incident,” the Sheriff said. He was armed with an AR-15 rifle and possibly other weapons. “He was not a current student,” Israel said. “I don’t know why he left, I don’t know when he left.”
The gunman reportedly had a rifle and possibly a handgun as he entered the school on Wednesday afternoon, before opening fire.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told media that the man was a former student of the school.
The attacker has been identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, according to AFP and CBS News reports, citing officials with the knowledge of the investigation.
The shooter was “expelled for disciplinary reasons,” Israel said during a media briefing where he confirmed the identity of the suspect. It is yet unclear if Cruz, who was born in September, 1998, was enrolled in any other school after dropping out from Douglas High.
Cruz was armed with an AR-15 rifle when he entered the school, leaving “countless magazines” at the scene, Israel said, adding that it is still unclear if he had any other weapon. Cruz opened fire outside the school, killing two people near the building and one person on the street. Twelve more people were fatally shot inside. Another two succumbed to their wounds in hospital, the sheriff said, adding that the death toll may still rise.
Cruz was apprehended off-campus about an hour after the shooting unfolded, Scott said, adding that the teenager did not attempt to resist the arrest.
Multiple ambulances, police cars and even armored vehicles were deployed to the school as the incident unfolded.