A Florida school shooting Wednesday left 17 dead and 14 injured according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. The suspect is in custody, but details are slow to surface.
Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla were surprised to hear a fire drill go off shortly after 2 p.m. on Valentine’s Day; especially since they already had one earlier that same morning.
“It’s unusual to have two fire drills in one day,” a student told Fox News Live.
But this wasn’t a drill. This was a “Code Red” and students soon realized just how horrific the situation had become after hearing multiple gunshots.
Several students gave live interviews to news crews, and most said the same thing: “There were bodies everywhere.”
Another tweeted during the lockdown from inside a classroom:
According to Parkland Sheriff Scott Israel, the shooter was both outside on campus and inside the building. Students and teachers hid under their desks and in closets, waiting for police to tell them it was okay to leave the building.
“Six kids ran back into my room, and I locked the door, turned out the lights and had the kids go to the back of the room,” math teacher Jim Gard said. “Within a minute a code red was announced,” Gard said, referring to the school code for a lock down.
“I told the kids to hang in there, it may still be a drill.”
The suspect, 19-year-old Nicolas de Jesus Cruz was a former student that staff had been warned about previously, according to the Miami Herald:
“We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” said 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.”
Cruz was located within the hour of the mass shooting in another town. He was arrested without incident and taken to a local hospital where he was reportedly treated for unknown injuries. Helicopters flying over the scene captured his arrest but did not reveal any obvious signs of injuries.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter to offer his support.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2018
The FBI and numerous SWAT teams covered the school, looking for victims that may still be hiding or even injured. Students were bussed to the Marriot where parents could go to reunite with them. At the time of reporting, there were no theories on the reason for the mass shooting.