Florida shooting live updates: 17 dead in attack police believe involved AR-15 rifle – suspect named as Nikolas Cruz

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Seventeen people have been killed and more than a dozen injured after a gunman opened fire at a Florida high school.

Aerial footage showed students streaming out of the school with their hands in the air before dropping their backpacks into a large pile next to police and sitting on nearby grass. Parents were instructed to meet at a location away from the school, where they waited anxiously to be reunited with their children.

The carnage began shortly before school was to be let out at 2.40 pm, when the sound of gunfire ripped through the air.

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Live Updates

21 mins ago

A former neighbour of Mr Cruz has told the New York Times that the suspect has a brother named Zachary. Both boys were adopted, the neighbour, Helen Pasciolla, said.
She added that their adoptive father had died some years ago, and that their mother appeared to have problems with their behaviour.

1 hour ago

Broward Health Hospitals tell CNN that five victims of the shooting are in life-threatening condition at Broward Health Medical Center and Broward Health North hospitals. Ten patients are hospitalized in non-life threatening condition.
The sheriff’s office previously estimated that 14-18 people had been injured.

1 hour ago

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has said the state of Florida will pay for the funeral expenses of the victims, as well as for grief counseling for survivors.

1 hour ago

Sheriff Scott Israel said 12 of the 17 people killed in the shooting have been identified. They are still waiting to learn the names of the five others.

1 hour ago

Florida Governor Rick Scott has called the shooting “absolutely pure evil”. He said he would stay in Parkland for the time being to support the victims, and would provide state resources to do “whatever we can”.

1 hour ago

Broward County School District Superintendent Robert Rouncie has confirmed that the suspected shooter was a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas who had been expelled. He added that the student had been enrolled in the district at the time of the shooting, but did not elaborate.
Mr Rouncie said classes at the high school were cancelled for the remainder of the week. The district would also provide grief counsellors for students, staff, and their families, he said.

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Mitt Romney, a former US governor who was widely expected to announce a run for Senate tomorrow, has delayed his announcement in light of the shooting.

1 hour ago

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida has also issued condolences. She called the attack in Parkland, Florida, “another senseless school shooting … this time in our community.”

2 hours ago

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has said the deadly school shooting in Florida should “strike fear into all Americans.” 

The Democrat from Arizona was shot in the head and survived a shooting attack in 2011. 

She said in a statement that her heart goes out to the victims and survivors of the school shooting, She called it the latest attack in an epidemic of gun violence that continues “days after deadly day.” 

She also said that the latest in a series of deadly US shootings should stir fresh resolve in Congress to “find the courage to pass the laws we need to protect our children.” 
 

2 hours ago

Associated Press are reporting that the gunman wore a gas mask and carried smoke grenades, although it is unclear at this stage whether these were used.

Senator Bill Nelson said he had been briefed by the FBI and that the gunman had “set off the fire alarm so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall. And there the carnage began.”

2 hours ago

The New York Daily News has started to respond to tweets about the shooting by politicians by putting how much campaign funding they received from gun rights groups and their ranking from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

I’m sure Congress as a whole will be feeling pressure over gun control tomorrow.

The tweet below is in reply to a tweet from Senator Ted Cruz.
 

3 hours ago

A fire alarm sounded during the attack, with officials believing this may have been used to draw more people out into corridors of the school.

3 hours ago

The Broward County sheriff said that police found “very, very disturbing” material when searching the social media of MrCruz, the suspect: “We have already began to dissect his websites and the social media that he was on. Some of the things that have come to mind were very, very disturbing.”

Mr Cruz was also in possession of an AR-15 assault rifle.

3 hours ago

At the Broward Health North hospital system, officials told reporters that the suspect was taken to the hospital and released to police custody. At this facility, three patients are in critical condition and three are in stable condition, as of around 7pm local time. Two died there.

3 hours ago

A note that the 17 people confirmed killed makes this one of America’s top 10 deadliest mass shootings.
The shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, which for a long time stood as the symbol of school shootings, is no longer among the 10 deadliest. Thirteen people died.
Three of the five deadliest — at a concert in Las Vegas, at a nightclub in Orlando, and at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas – have occurred in the last few years

3 hours ago
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People who have lost loved ones in previous mass shootings are weighing in, calling for action:

3 hours ago

The sheriff said investigators have begun the work of combing through suspect Nikolaus Cruz’s online life, which contained some “very disturbing” content.

3 hours ago

Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters that 12 victims died in the building, three victims died outside, and two succumbed to their injuries in the hospital. Another 14 to 18 people were injured.

​Authorities have identified the suspect as 19-year-old Nikolaus Cruz, a former student at the school. Mr Israel said the suspect had been expelled from the school before the shooting for “disciplinary reasons”.

Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County said the 19-year-old suspect – identified in media reports as Nikolaus Cruz – is in custody and that investigators are beginning to “dissect” what happened in the attack.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, about 45 miles (72 km) north of Miami, was placed on a “code red” lock down, and students tweeted and texted from inside about the chaos that had come down upon their school.

Of the fatalities, 12 were killed inside the school, two were killed outside on the campus grounds, one was killed on a road outside of the school, and another two were transported to the hospital but died there.

Sheriff Israel said the suspect, a former student, was previously expelled for disciplinary reasons. Mr Israel added that the gunman had at least one rifle – believed to be an AR-15 – and multiple magazines.

The White House has cancelled its daily press briefing and President Donald Trump has spoken with Florida Governors Rick Scott about the shooting. He said in a tweet that the White House is “working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting.” 

He earlier tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims. 

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Mr Trump has offered Florida federal assistance, if needed. The homeland security secretary has also been in touch with state and local officials. 

Ms Sanders said, “We continue to keep the victims, and their friends and family, in our thoughts and prayers.” 

Agencies contributed to this report

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