Via Miami Herald:
An American nightmare is unfolding Wednesday afternoon at a North Broward high school after a former student came onto campus and opened fire, killing and injuring more than a dozen people.
Details remain cloudy amid a flurry of police activity at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland off the Sawgrass Expressway. Students, who heard a fire alarm go off just before dismissal, followed by guns shots, fled off campus and hid under desks as police sped to the scene. Parents, blocked from getting onto campus, stood by helpless.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office is reporting “at least 14 victims” and is still working to clear all the buildings at the massive school, home to about 3,200 students. The shooter, a former student identified by law enforcement sources as Nicolas de Jesus Cruz, managed to make it off campus before he was cornered and taken into custody in a townhouse at Pelican Pointe at Wyndham Lakes in Coral Springs.
Robert Runcie, superintendent of Broward Schools, is reporting “numerous fatalities” in the terrifying attack, the latest in America’s troubled history with guns. Many victims have been transported to Broward Health North, as has Cruz. Four others have been taken to Broward Medical Center.
“It’s a day that you pray every day when you get up that you will never have to see. It is in front of us. I ask the community for prayers and their support for the children and their families,” Runcie, appearing at a media staging area near the school, told WSVN Channel 7. “We received no warning… Potentially there could have been signs out there. But we didn’t have any warning or phone calls or threats that were made.”
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, whose triplets once attended the high school, said multiple SWAT teams are currently clearing out the school and that an “all clear” has not yet been issued. Israel, who said he spoke with President Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott, called the shooting a “detestable act” and “catastrophic.”
“Right now, the buildings are not safe to be cleared,” he said.
Israel said BSO officials would be transporting students to the Fort Lauderdale Marriot Coral Springs Hotel, Golf Club and Convention Center, located at 11775 Heron Bay Blvd. in Coral Springs. “This is a terrible day” for the local and national community, he said.
A teacher at the school told the Miami Herald that Cruz, 19, had been identified as a potential threat to fellow students in the past. Gard says he believes the school administration had sent out an email warning teachers that the student had made threats against other in the past and that he should not be allowed on the campus with a backpack. Another student interviewed on the scene by Channel 7 said the student had guns at home.
“We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” said math teacher Jim Gard, who said the former student suspected in the shootings had been in his class last year. “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”