17 persons were reported killed at a Florida high school, after a gunman opened fire, leaving frightened students clustered in their classrooms, texting friends and family for help.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, had left “multiple dead,” with dozens also injured.
According to Israel, fourteen people were taken to hospital “with varying degrees of wounds,” he added that the school had not yet been totally cleared.
The suspect, a onetime student at the school who was 19 years old, identified as Nicolas Cruz has been arrested. Israel disclosed no incident was recorded in the nearby town of Coral Springs.
The shooting, which was one of 20 since the start of the year, has once again thrown the spotlight on the epidemic of gun violence in the United States and the ready accessibility of weapons in a country with 33,000 gun-related deaths annually.
While speaking on numerous fatalities, superintendent of the county’s school district, Robert Runcie said the day was horrible.
Meanwhile, the FBI has said it was assisting local law enforcement with the investigation. Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky also said she had spoken to a number of students after the shooting broke out at about 2:00 pm (1900 GMT).