17 Killed In Florida High School Shooting Rampage, Gunman Arrested

It was Valentine's Day, and students at a high school in south Florida were celebrating love. Tragically, one former student was steeped in hate.

The suspect entered the school and open fired on the students, killing 17 people.

The suspect, later identified as Nikolas Cruz, is a 19-year-old former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He used to attend the school, but was expelled for disciplinary reasons.

According to one report, he was once banned from bringing a backpack to school after threatening another student.

Cruz showed up as the school day was beginning to wrap up on Wednesday afternoon. He entered one of the buildings and pulled the fire alarm, and students began pouring out, assuming it was a drill.

Cruz waited and ambushed the exiting students.

The teen had an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle and multiple magazines, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. He may have had other weapons.

Despite some early rumors, it doesn't look as though he had any accomplices. He acted alone.

John Obin, the father of one student, says his son was sitting in class when he heard shots ringing in the halls. He told the teacher to get the students out of the school, quickly.

“This is a really good school, and now it’s like a war zone,” said Obin.

Teachers hurried to help students take cover and barricaded their classes inside the classrooms. The school was put immediately on lockdown. Shortly after the shooting started, SWAT teams were dispatched and helicopters began flying over the school.

Some children, hiding in closets and under desks, called home to talk to their parents. Parents began arriving at the school, but there was little they could do but wait.

Some students, bloodied and terrified, came running out of the school after escaping. Some weren't so lucky.

“The people next door to us must have not locked their door,” Hannah Siren, a 14-year-old, said to the New York Post. The young teen broke into tears as she said, “They all got shot.”

About an hour after the shooting, Cruz was found off campus and arrested by police. His social media accounts were full of disturbing posts and searches.

He was obsessed with guns, bombs and violence. Cruz was initially taken to the hospital to be treated for 'labored breathing' but was cleared of health concerns.

President Donald Trump quickly tweeted condolences to the community. "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," he wrote.

President Trump later noted that there were so many warning signs that Cruz was mentally disturbed, just as there were warning signs with other school shooters. He urged people to report unusual behavior to authorities.

"I want to speak now directly to America's children, especially those who feel lost alone confused or even scared. I want you to know that you are never alone, and you never will be," he said in televised remarks from the White House Diplomatic Reception Room.

"You have people who care about you, who love you and who will do anything at all to protect you. If you need help, turn to a teacher, a family member, a local police officer or a faith leader. Answer hate with love. Answer cruelty with kindness."

Source: MailOnline
Photo: Miami New Times, YouTube

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