Tragedy and terror struck a high school in Parkland, Florida, late Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 14) when a shooter, now in police custody, took the lives of at least 17 people and injured at least 14 others.
As reported, law enforcement responded to reports of a shooting at the Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School shortly before 3pm, later detaining 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz.
According to reports, the shooting began outside the building and continued inside, with Cruz being taken off campus about an hour after he committed the horrific act.
Both federal and local authorities confirmed with reporters that at this time, there was no indication that the gunman had an accomplice and that the teenager used one AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle and had "countless magazines." It is unclear at this time if he had additional weaponry on hand.
Per authorities, Cruz was previously expelled from the school for "unspecified disciplinary reasons." Some students have given reports of their former classmate, with some referring to him as "troubled" and "obsessed with guns," while others another mentioned that there was a past issue with him threatening other students.
Immediately after gunfire broke out, students and faculty began running out of the building while others went into lockdown in various classrooms in response to the attack. A fire drill at the school was taking place around the time of the shooting, leading to additional confusion across the student body as a result.
According to reports, the town in which the shooting took place was previously named Florida's safest city and has a population of roughly 30,000.
Donald Trump was among those reacting to news of the tragedy on social media, writing, "My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school."
More on this story as it develops.
My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2018
Just spoke to Broward School Superintendent. Today is that terrible day you pray never comes.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 14, 2018
Just finished update from fed authorities on #FloridaSchoolShooting. It is clear attack was designed & executed to maximize loss of life— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 15, 2018
My heart is heavy over the school shooting in Florida. Keeping all affected in my thoughts & prayers.— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) February 14, 2018
A full list of all 18 school shootings in the first 43 days of 2018. pic.twitter.com/h7h93HLOl6— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) February 14, 2018
The United States is not #1 in much.— Shaun King (@shaunking) February 14, 2018
Not education, not healthcare, not economic equality, none of that.
We're #1 in mass shootings and mass incarceration. It's not even close.
That's where we lead. This is what we're the best at.
29 school shootings in 2018 and we are worried about a fucking wall to keep us safe. #Parkland— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) February 14, 2018
Heard the word “tragedy” 100 times already about the school shooting - not really, by the classical definition: tragedy is fated and inevitable. This isn’t inevitable. This is America.— Bill Maher (@billmaher) February 14, 2018
With 16 dead, the Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida is now the deadliest high school shooting in US history, overtaking Columbine— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) February 15, 2018
What it looks like when the police come in and clear a classroom of teenagers at a high school during an active shooting in America.— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) February 14, 2018
This could be U.S forces clearing a room in Fallujah in 2004.
This country is over-armed and under-educated.pic.twitter.com/JREROKzbnc
#StonemanShooting latest:— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) February 14, 2018
-Broward County Sheriff says 17 people are confirmed dead
-Police name Nikolaus Cruz, 19, as the suspect
-He was a former student who was expelled from the school
-He was armed with an AR-15 rifle and had “countless magazines” https://t.co/3bSJzMsJyt
Columbine is now just the fifth deadliest school shooting in the US.— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) February 14, 2018
Another mass shooting. At a school. As a parent I’m broken-hearted. As an activist-I want to do something. Electing a Blue House not owned by the NRA is a good place to start.— Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) February 14, 2018
angered to hear about the parkland highschool shooting. a tweet doesnt do much but we want to at least show our support to victims’ families and also to the kids who made it through this evil. survivors will need so much support and the right resources to deal with this trauma.— paramore (@paramore) February 15, 2018