Sheriff: 17 dead, gunman in custody in shooting at Florida high school
PARKLAND, Fla. (WPEC) - The Broward Sheriff's Office says a former student is in custody after a deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland.
The sheriff's office said the shooting left at least 17 people dead and more than a dozen others injured. A football coach is among the dead. The sheriff's office says it has identified 12 of the 17 victims, but the names are not being released at this time.
The shooting happened Wednesday afternoon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at 5901 Pine Island Road, according to the sheriff's office. Responding deputies were met with hundreds of students fleeing the school.
The gunman has been identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. The Miami Herald reported Cruz had been previously flagged by teachers as a campus threat.
Investigators later learned that Cruz had concealed himself in the crowd and was among those running out of the school, the sheriff's office said. They were able to identify him after watching school security video.
Cruz was adopted at birth by an older couple, according to the Sun Sentinel. His adoptive father died when he was much younger and his mother passed away from pneumonia a little over three months ago.
Investigators with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office spent Wednesday night at a mobile home park in Lantana where sources tell CBS12 Cruz may have lived with his brother.
Of the 17 victims, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said 12 were killed inside the school, 2 outside the building, 1 in the street and two people died at the hospital.
"He had countless magazines, we believe he had one AR-15 rifle, we don't know if he had a second one," said Sheriff Israel.
A reporter for CBS Miami said sources told him the attacker also had a handgun.
CBS Miami also reported the AR-15 is similar to the weapon used in the mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora and San Bernardino.
Cruz is now at the Broward County Jail after being evaluated at Broward General North.
The sheriff's office said he was expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons.
The sheriff's office said detectives will dig through his social media accounts as part of the investigation.
One student told CBS12 reporter Michael Buczyner she saw the gunman run down the hallway, shooting into classrooms after pulling the fire alarm.
One parent told CBS12 her son texted her to say he heard gunshots and saw police with guns and a dead body.
Sen. Bill Nelson tells MSNBC that there are "a number of fatalities." Nelson also tweeted that he is ensuring a number of federal resources are being made available.
CBS News shared a photo from a student barricaded in a classroom.
The FBI and agents from the ATF Miami Field Division are heading to the scene, according to CBS News.
President Trump has been made aware of the shooting and expressed his condolences on Twitter.
Florida Governor Rick Scott says he's spoken the president, and with law enforcement, school and city leaders about the incident. Scott traveled to South Florida where he ordered the immediate lowering of all flags statewide in honor of the victims.
The district says the school will be closed and all school activities will be canceled for the rest of the week.
The Los Angeles Times says Wednesday's shooting with 17 deaths is among the worst in modern U.S. history. The Las Vegas shooting ended with 58 dead, followed by Orlando (49), Virginia Tech (32), Newtown (27), and Sutherland Springs (26) in the top five. Parkland is ranked seventh with 17 dead, just ahead of the San Bernardino shootings that left 14 dead in 2015.
The high school is about 15 miles southwest of Boca Raton, just off the Sawgrass Expressway in Broward County.
A vigil will be held for the students Thursday at 12 p.m. at Parkridge Baptist Church in Pompano Beach.
OneBlood is asking for help to replenish the o-Negative blood supply following Wednesday’s tragic shooting.
People are being encouraged to make appointments online.
This is a breaking news story that will be updated. Stay here for up-to-the minute developments.