The shooter has been identified in today’s horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida.
According to the Associated Press:
The male shooter was identified as Nicolas Cruz, said a U.S. official briefed on the investigation. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the information publicly. Previously, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel had said the shooter was a former student. He said the shooter was outside and inside the school at points during the attack, and taken into custody “without incident” about an hour after he left the school. Israel said police were waiting for the SWAT team to give them the all-clear so that they could go inside the school.
At present, officials are saying there have been 14 victims. They’re being transported to Broward Health Medical Center and Broward Health North hospital.
One student, Noah Parness, said a fire alarm went off at around 2:30pm today (the second of the day), and after filing out to the assigned fire drill area, they heard “pops.” Shortly after, they saw teachers running down the stairway.
Another witness reported:
Michael Nembhard said he was sitting in his garage about a mile away from the school watching the coverage on TV when he heard a police officer yelling, “Get on the ground, get on the ground, get on the ground!” He looked up and about 150 yards (140 meters) away he saw a teenage boy on the ground and an officer pointing a gun at him. The officer stood over the boy until other officers arrived, and the boy was handcuffed behind his back and taken away, Nembhard said.
Another student confirmed the earlier fire drill, then said at about 2:32pm, someone pulled the fire alarm and began to shout, “Code red!”
Len Murray’s 17-year-old son, a junior at the school, sent his parents a chilling text around 2:30pm: “Mom and Dad, there have been shots fired on campus at school. There are police sirens outside. I’m in the auditorium and the doors are locked.”
A few minutes later, he texted again: “I’m fine.”
Murray said he raced to the school only to be stopped by authorities under a highway overpass within view of the school buildings. He said he told his son to save his battery and stop texting, while the boy’s mother told him to turn off his ringer.
No information has been provided yet to parents, he said. “I’m scared for the other parents here. You can see the concern in everybody’s faces. Everybody is asking, ‘Have you heard from your child yet?’” Murray said.
Murray said he’s had just one thought running through his mind since he got his son’s text: “All I keep thinking about is when I dropped him off this morning. I usually say, ‘I love you,’ and I didn’t this morning. He’s 17, he’s at that age, and I didn’t say it this morning, and I’m just kicking myself right now over and over and over. Say it early and often, I’m telling you.”
And that part, for a parent, is absolutely heartbreaking.
My child is no longer a student, but he is a teacher. You can believe that this is something that I think about, often.
Pray for those students, those families, and that community tonight.
They’re now reporting 17 dead.
This is horrifying.
on @CNN right now Sen Bill Nelson said that the shooter came to the school with a gas mask on and smoke bombs, set off the fire alarm so the kids would come pouring out of the class rooms.
— Nada Bakos (@nadabakos) February 15, 2018