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Florida school shooting: 17 dead, Nicholas Cruz arrested & 10 developments

Valentine's Day 2018 turned into a Day of Carnage for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland

BS Web Team/Agencies 

florida school shooting
Florida shooting. Photo: Reuters.

Florida school shooting: Valentine's Day 2018 turned into a Day of Carnage for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, when a 19-year-old gunman opened fire with an assault-style rifle on Wednesday. The attack killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen. The gunman, identified as Nikolaus Cruz, had once been expelled for disciplinary reasons from the Florida school.

Here are top 10 developments of Florida shooting

1. Nikolaus Cruz's life at home

The gunman was identified as Nikolaus Cruz, who previously attended the school and was expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said, "the gunman surrendered to police without a struggle." Cruz was adopted by Lynda and Roger Cruz when he was an infant, ABC reports. According to Kathie Blaine, the cousin of Cruz’s adopted mother who lives in New York, Lynda died of the flu in November. Blaine also said Cruz’s adoptive father died 13 years ago of a heart attack.

ALSO READ: Florida school shooting: 17 dead, dozens hurt; killer an expelled student

2. Ex-CIA official breaks down on camera

A former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Philip Mudd broke down into tears on camera during an interview, following the shooting at a Florida high school on Wednesday.

Philip Mudd, while speaking to CNN, condemned the incident and urged the people to speak against it.

He was emotional and visibly disturbed while saying, "A child of God is dead.

Can not we acknowledge in this country that we cannot accept this?"

Mudd also blamed the ISIS and Al Queda, which might have provided the ammunition and grenades used by the accused to conduct the shooting.

3. Weapons used by Cruz

He was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and had multiple magazines of ammunition. According to CNN, he wore a gas mask, was carrying smoke grenades and set off a fire alarm, prompting students to pour out of their classrooms into the hallways.

As a high school freshman, Cruz was part of the US military-sponsored Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corp program at the school.

Jillian Davis, 19, a recent graduate and former fellow JROTC member at Stoneman Douglas High, described Cruz as "kind of an outcast" who was known for unruly behaviour at school and was "crazy about guns."

4. 17 dead, over a dozen injured

Twelve of the dead were killed inside the school, two just outside, one more on the street and two other victims died of their injuries at a hospital.

The victims comprised a mixture of students and adults. Authorities at two nearby hospitals told Reuters they were treating 13 survivors for bullet wounds and other injuries, five of whom were listed in critical condition

5. 18th shooting in a US school this year

It was the 18th shooting in a U.S. school so far this year, according to gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety. That tally includes suicides and incidents when no one was injured, as well as the January shooting in which a 15-year-old gunman killed two fellow students at a Benton, Kentucky, high school.

More than 40 “active shooter” episodes in schools have been recorded in the United States since 2000, according to F.B.I. and news reports. The shootings have become common enough that many schools, including Douglas High, run annual drills in which students practice huddling in classrooms behind locked doors.

6. How it happened

Staff and students told local media that a fire alarm went off around the time the shooting started, sparking chaos as some 3,300 students at the school first headed into hallways before teachers herded them back into classrooms, to seek shelter in closets.

7. Anguished parents check on their children

"It is just absolutely horrifying. I can't believe this is happening," Lissette Rozenblat, whose daughter goes to the school, told CNN. Her daughter called her to say she was safe but the student also told her mother she heard the cries of a person who was shot.

Televised images showed dozens of students, their arms in the air, weaving their way between law enforcement officers with heavy weapons and helmets, and large numbers of emergency vehicles including police cars, ambulances and fire trucks.

8. Trump prays for victims

United States President Donald Trump on Thursday offered his condolences, following the shooting at a school in Parkland, Florida.

"My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting.

No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school," President Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump also assured the US citizens that a strict action will be taken against the shooter. First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump, too offered her condolences.

"My heart is heavy over the school shooting in Florida. Keeping all affected in my thoughts and prayers," she wrote on Twitter.

9. Social media grieves for the dead

10. Florida schools and Universities, government pray for Florida victims

The Valentine's Day bloodshed in the Miami suburb of gated communities with palm- and shrub-lined streets was the latest outbreak of gun violence that has become a regular occurrence at schools and college campuses across the United States over the past several years.

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 10:42 IST