17 people were killed after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire on his former classmates at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 16 people are being treated at local hospitals. The victims include both children and adults.
The 19-year-old suspect was a former student of the school who was expelled for disciplinary reasons. One student said the identity of the shooter was not a shock because "everyone predicted it".
Another student told the Sun Sentinel that Cruz seemed "a little off" and would talk about shooting animals like lizards and squirrels.
Police are searching Cruz's social media and investigators said what they have discovered so far is “very, very disturbing."
Florida Governor Rick Scott called the shooting an act of "pure evil." He promised the state will provide whatever resources are necessary to the victims and their families. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said that the state will help to pay for funerals and cover counseling costs.
NBC Miami reports that the fire alarm was pulled before the shooting started. Students said it was odd because there was a fire drill earlier in the day, and some students originally thought it might have been a mistake. As students and teachers started exiting their classrooms into the hallway, the shooter opened fire.
The school was put on lock-down and students and teachers barricaded themselves inside classrooms. Students posted live updates to social media throughout the harrowing incident. One shocking video captures the moment shots were fired. Police said the 19-year-old was armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and had multiple magazines.
WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE AND MAY BE DISTURBING
The White House released a statement that said President Trump has been made aware of the situation:
"The President has been made aware of the school shooting in Florida. We are monitoring the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected."
The president tweeted out his condolences to the families of the victims.
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.