17 Dead in School Shooting; Suspect Due in Court Today
Police say that 19 year-old Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. That’s about 25 northwest of Fort Lauderdale.
According to police, a fire alarm went off at the school shortly before classes ended Wednesday. Students say they just had a fire drill earlier in the day.
Minutes later, students said they started to hear gunshots. Teachers and students scrambled to safety. Many of them hid in closets and classrooms before a SWAT team safely escorted them out.
Police say the shooting left at least 17 people dead and more than a dozen injured.
Cruz was later arrested off-campus.
At one point, police said he use to attend the school but was expelled for disciplinary reasons.
Students who knew the suspect are sharing details about their interactions with him and parents said they can't believe this happened in their community and to their kids.
"I got assigned to a group project with him and he started talking to me and told me how he got kicked out of two private schools," said one student. "He always just seemed very quiet and strange."
“You see it when it happens in other places, but when it's your backyard, when it's your child that's hiding, it's just a little different," said a parent.
Police say that Cruz had quite a number of disturbing posts on his social media sites.
He posted pictures to his Instagram page posing with guns and knives.
On Wednesday night, investigators searched Cruz's home in Pompano Beach, Florida.