PARKLAND, FL (RNN) – A gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday, killing 17 people and wounding at least half a dozen more, the Broward County sheriff said.
“This is a terrible day,” Sheriff Scott Israel said. “It’s catastrophic.”
Suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz is in custody. He was arrested about a mile from the school, the sheriff said.
Cruz used an AR-15 style weapon and had multiple magazines on him.The 19-year-old is a former student at the high school and was expelled for disciplinary reasons.
Twelve of the victims were shot in the school, two were shot outside of the building, one was killed on the road next to the school, Israel said.
The victims were a mix of adults and students. Two of those shot died at the hospital.
People were transported to area hospitals. Israel didn’t say how many were wounded but did say some were in surgery. First responders helped those fleeing the school in nearby triage areas.
Broward Health North said it was treating six victims of the shooting. Three were in critical condition and three others were stable.
Today we experiencing the worst of humanity as an unspeakable tragedy has hit our @browardschools family at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS. There has been a shooting on campus with injuries and fatalities. We are working with law enforcement as we pray for our babies and families.
— Supt Runcie (@RobertwRuncie) February 14, 2018
Parents were attempting to reach some of their children as police and tactical teams swept through the school, going building to building and clearing each room.
“I am sitting here in my car in this traffic jam just like, I wish my car could fly at the moment,” said Simone Kuffner, whose son Shawn attends the high school.
As authorities cleared the campus, students, teachers, and staff streamed out with their hands up in single file lines.
Law enforcement and ambulances scrambled to the scene when shots were reported close to dismissal time, before 3 p.m. ET. Students told local media that they heard the fire alarm go off about 10 minutes before school let out.
The students then fled back inside the building as the shooting began, while others ran to nearby businesses.
Lissette Rozenblet told CNN her daughter evacuated to a nearby Walmart along with other students. Some parents said they were scared to call or text their children in case their phones were not on silent, afraid that a noise would alert the gunman to their child’s presence.