At least 17 people, including students, were killed and more than dozen others were injured Wednesday, after a 19-year-old gunman opened fire with an assault-style rifle at a Florida high school, authorities said.
According to a report in Press Trust of India, the shooting suspect, identified as Nicolas Cruz, was a former student of the school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, from where, he had once been expelled for disciplinary reasons. Mr. Cruz has been taken into custody and the FBI is assisting local officials in the investigation.
Speaking to reporters, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said: “Nicolas Cruz was the killer. He is in custody. We already began to dissect his websites and social media that he was on … some of the things that come to mind are very, very disturbing.” The suspect had countless magazines, he added.
“At this point, we believe he had one AR-15 rifle. I don’t know if he had a second one,” the sheriff said in response to a question. The suspect was treated and released to the police.
The gunman surrendered to police without a struggle, Israel said. He was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and had multiple magazines of ammunition.
Of the 17 dead, 12 were inside the building, two were shot dead just outside the building, one was on a street outside the school, and two people lost their lives at a hospital. Israel, however, could not confirm the number of victim students.
US President Donald Trump has reportedly spoken with Florida Governor and other top officials and was seeking frequent updates on the tragic incident.
“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,” Trump said in a tweet.