Shooting at a Florida high school: 17 dead, suspect arrested

A young man killed at least 17 people Wednesday at a high school in Southeastern Florida. The suspect, a former student, was detained “after committing this heinous act,” said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

The sheriff said 12 victims had been killed in the school, two had died just outside the building and one had died on a road near the scene of the tragedy. Two other people died of their injuries at the hospital.

Police report that at least 16 wounded, including the suspect, were taken to hospital. Of the injured, three are in critical condition, according to Dr. Evan Boyar of Broward Health North Medical Center.

By late evening, the authorities had still failed to identify 5 of the 12 victims, including both students and teachers.

Israel added that the suspect, a 19-year-old ex-student, had a semi-automatic firearm and several magazines in his possession.

At around 2:30 pm on Wednesday afternoon, a young man entered the high school and opened fire.

Police officers with their conspicuous weapons entered the school, while dozens of youth ran outside. The police signaled to the students to evacuate quickly. Several students came out in single file with their hands in the air or on the back of their necks to show they had no weapons.

According to Florida senator Bill Nelson, who spoke on CNN, the gunman was wearing a gas mask and had with him smoke grenades. He set off a fire alarm to get students out of the classroom and into the hallways. “Then the carnage began,” said the senator who was informed of the details of the investigation by the federal police (the FBI).

“We all thought it was a fire drill because we had one today, so nobody was nervous. But when we started to say that it was shot, everyone started to run, “said a student as he left school.

A teenager with weapons problems

The suspect was known to be a problem student in high school, according to several testimonies collected by local media.

“There were problems when he threatened students last year and I think he was told to leave the campus,” Miami Herald Jim Gard, a math teacher who had pupil in his class.

According to the teacher, the school administration warned against accepting the student on campus if he was carrying a backpack because of these threats.

A student, interviewed on the scene of the shootings by the local chain WJXT, affirmed that the passage to the act of the suspect was foreseeable.

“Honestly, a lot of people said it would be him,” the student said the channel did not identify.

“Everyone had predicted it,” he added, noting that the shooter was familiar with the high school security locations and procedures in the event of gunfire.

“He was on the second floor, he knows the layout of classes, he knew where the students would be,” he said.

A teenager with weapons problems

The suspect was known to be a problem student in high school, according to several testimonies collected by local media.

“There were problems when he threatened students last year and I think he was told to leave the campus,” Miami Herald Jim Gard, a math teacher who had pupil in his class.

According to the teacher, the school administration warned against accepting the student on campus if he was carrying a backpack because of these threats.

A student, interviewed on the scene of the shootings by the local chain WJXT, affirmed that the passage to the act of the suspect was foreseeable.

“Honestly, a lot of people said it would be him,” the student said the channel did not identify.

“Everyone had predicted it,” he added, noting that the shooter was familiar with the high school security locations and procedures in the event of gunfire.

“He was on the second floor, he knows the layout of classes, he knew where the students would be,” he said.

This is the 18th year-old shootings in the United States and the deadliest in school since Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, when a man killed his mother, then 20 children and 6 adults before to take the life off at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Parkland is a small municipality of just over 20,000 people 70 km north of Miami. According to the most recent data from the US National Center for Education Statistics, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hosted just over 3,000 students in 2015-2016.

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