Published On: Thu, Feb 15th, 2018

17 Dead, 15 Wounded After Expelled Student Shoots Up Florida High School

An American nightmare unfolded Wednesday afternoon at a South Florida high school after police say an expelled teenager returned to campus and opened fire with an assault rifle, killing 17 and wounding 15 more in the worst school shooting in Florida history.

School Shooting in Florida

 

Just before dismissal at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, thousands of students puzzled at the sound of a fire alarm were launched into a panic when gunfire punctuated the din. As teachers and students fled through hallways and hid under desks, a gunman opened fire, leaving a trail of bodies and stunned confusion in his wake.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office says Nikolas Cruz, 19, walked the halls of the high school wielding an AR-15 and equipped with multiple magazines. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida told reporters that Cruz pulled a fire alarm and then, wearing a gas mask, began tossing smoke bombs and shooting people as they ran through the haze.

Police say Cruz gunned down a dozen people inside buildings on the school’s sprawling campus, two more on the grounds, and one more on the corner of Pine Island Road as he fled. Two more died at the hospital. Many underwent surgery at Broward Health hospitals.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office says the school, home to about 3,200 students, had been cleared by early evening. They did not identify any victims.

“It’s a day that you pray, every day when you get up, that you will never have to see. It is in front of us. I ask the community for prayers and their support for the children and their families,” Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, appearing at a media staging area near the school, told WSVN-TV. “Potentially there could have been signs out there. But we didn’t have any warning or phone calls or threats that were made.”

The shooter, identified by Sheriff Scott Israel as Cruz, managed to make it off campus before he was cornered and taken into custody near the community entrance to Pelican Pointe at Wyndham Lakes in Coral Springs. He was transported to Broward Health North, and then sped away from the hospital in a police escort.

On the first floor, Geovanni Vilsant, 15, said he was in a Spanish classroom when a fire alarm went off, urging all the students out of their classrooms. Then, two minutes later, gun shots rang out enveloping the three-floor building in explosions.

As the evening wore on, and students had been safely evacuated from the school, attention turned to those who were wounded in the gunfire. Dr. Evan Boyar, medical director for the department of emergency medicine at Broward Health North, said of the eight patients at Broward Health North, three patients remained in critical condition and three were stable.

“As a human being, you can imagine that they would be in shock or be emotional about the whole situation,” Boyar said.

Boyar said the hospital routinely runs drills to be prepared for situations like this.

Doctors would not disclose details further than that regarding injuries to any of the patients or the suspect. However, Dr. Igor Nichiporenko, the medical director for trauma at Broward Health North, did say that all of the victims suffered from gunshot wounds. Three patients were still in the operating room, Nichiporenko said.