At least 17 were injured on Wednesday after a shooting at a high school in Coral Springs, Florida.
The Coral Springs Police Department said on Twitter that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is locked down and to avoid the area. They also told students and teachers still inside the high school to remain barricaded until authorities arrive.
Television footage taken from a helicopter showed heavily armed police gathering at one of the school’s entrances and students evacuating the campus, holding their hands above their heads.
The footage also showed several students being treated for injuries and at least one being loaded onto a gurney. However, it is unclear about how the injuries taken place.
The face behind the mask is nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz identified as the suspect in the shooting that killed at least 17 people.
Cruz was reportedly armed with an AR-15-styled semiautomatic rifle and “countless magazines,” the Broward Sheriff’s Office said. Law enforcement officials familiar with the shooting said Cruz also possessed a gas mask and smoke grenades , Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said.
Cruz was believed to have intentionally set off the school’s fire alarms “so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall,” during the shooting, Nelson continued.
Cruz reportedly tried to escape by blending in with other fleeing students, law enforcement sources and eyewitnesses told sources.
Cruz was detained without incident and has been the only suspect named in the shooting.
Cruz was reportedly expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas for disciplinary reasons that included making threats to other students.
Jim Gard, one of Cruz’s former teachers, said that he was told Cruz “wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” and that there were cases of threats aimed at fellow students before he was asked to leave.
Cruz’s mother, Lynda Cruz, reportedly had trouble with his behavior in the past. Lynda would occasionally contact the police to give him behavioral advice at their home, according to Helen Pasciolla, a former neighbor.
“I think she wanted to scare them a little bit,” Ms. Pasciolla said. “Nikolas has behavioral problems, I think, but I never thought he would be violent,” Pasciolla said in The New York Times .
Threatening comments on social media
Cruz is also believed to have posted images of his guns and made threats on social media accounts.
He allegedly commented nine months ago that he was going to kill law enforcement officials “one day” because they “go after the good people,” CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin said.
Another comment by Cruz reportedly said he wished “to kill as many as I can,” Griffin reported.
Several pictures posted on an Instagram account believed to belong to Cruz revealed firearms, ammunition, and accessories, such as scopes.
Other images from the alleged Instagram account contained pictures of shooting practice sheets and a man wearing a hat imprinted with US Army’s logo.
Broward County sheriff Scott Israel, who has reportedly begun learning about Cruz’s social media presence, called it “very, very concerning.”
” It is clear attack was designed & executed to maximize loss of life,” Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said on Twitter .
The school enrolled 3,208 students between grades nine and 12, according to the Sun-Sentinel .
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