Florida shooting: 17 dead in high school attack

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Cruz, accompanied by attorneys and police officers, was silent as his charges — 17 counts of premeditated murder — were read aloud.

It happened again.

Another high school shooting in the United States left 17 victims dead, 15 more injured. It took place Wednesday afternoon, a few minutes before students were about to go home from the Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida. The dead include students and adults.

CGTN’s Nitza Soledad Perez reports.

The heavily armed gunman stormed into his previous high school, first pulling a fire alarm to flush students out of classrooms, then shooting up the hallways as they filled.

A Florida judge has ordered that the suspect in the deadly shooting rampage will be held without bond on 17 counts of murder.

Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz was wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands cuffed at his waist during the Thursday afternoon hearing. His attorney did not contest the order and had her arm around Cruz during the brief court appearance. The sheriff’s office said the Florida high school student confessed to the shooting.

President Donald Trump said the nation is “joined together as one American family” after a shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people.

In a national address from the White House on Thursday, Trump said he wanted to speak directly to America’s children, saying “you are never alone, and you never will be.” He said no child should have to go to school fearing for their lives.

Trump said he’ll travel to Florida meet with victims’ families, explore how to better secure schools and “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”

He did not mention guns or gun control.

During a press conference on Thursday morning, FBI agent Rob Lasky says the FBI investigated a 2017 YouTube comment that said “I’m going to be a professional school shooter”; but the agency couldn’t identify the person making the comment.

Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the Wednesday afternoon shooting in Parkland, Florida.

He carried an AR-15 assault rifle, multiple magazines of ammunition, smoke grenades and a gas mask.

Hundreds of students were terrified, many barricading themselves wherever they could find refuge when the reality of a shooter became clear.

Frantically, many students texted family members. Some even filmed the horrific scene on their cell phones. Chaos ensued while the school was evacuated by police called to the scene.

After watching security video, authorities identified the shooter as Nikolas Cruz and arrested him not far from the school shortly after the shooting. He was formally charged Thursday morning with 17 counts of premeditated murder. Cruz is 19 years old and a former student at Stoneman High, expelled last year for disciplinary reasons.

The Suspect

The alleged gunman had a disturbing digital footprint – posing with knives and guns in several Instagram posts.

Comments under the username Nikolas Cruz were also published under YouTube videos and other sites, including “I whana (sic) shoot people with my AR-15”, “I wanna die Fighting killing s**t ton of people” and “I am going to kill law enforcement one day they go after the good people.”

Many former classmates describe Cruz as a loner and someone mentally disturbed. The suspect seemed to have had a troubled childhood. He was adopted and both parents had died, his mother’s death taking place just this past November.


Among the fatalities identified is the school’s assistant football coach, Aaron Feis who also served as a security guard at the school.
Social media accounts describe him as a hero, killed as he attempted to shield students from being shot.

The Parkland shooting is 18th school shooting to take place in the U.S. just since the start of this year. It’s also the deadliest since a gunman killed 26 people at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.

This story is by CGTN with some information by the Associated Press.

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