South Florida Community In Mourning
(Parkland, FL) — A South Florida community is waking up today struggling for answers after one of the worst school massacres in our nation’s history. A former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School entered the campus, and according to eyewitnesses, pulled a fire alarm and began opening fire with an AR-15 rifle. Police say Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen others. He’s been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. It’s the third worst school shooting in modern U.S. history, behind only Virginia Tech and Newtown. Broward County Schools officials say students and families will be able to see grief counselors at several community locations today
Cruz was kicked out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for disciplinary reasons. Cruz’s classmates describe him as a loner who had an obsessive interest in weapons. Classmates say Cruz, a former Army JROTC member, would often post social media videos of his killing animals, and one student said he had threatened a female friend of his once. Police say Cruz slipped away from the high school campus by blending in with other students who were fleeing the scene. He was booked into the Broward County Jail yesterday, still wearing the hospital gown he was given after being treated for labored breathing following his arrest.
Public officials from the state and across the country expressed their thoughts about the tragedy. Yesterday President Trump tweeted that his prayers were with the victims, adding that “no child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.” Today Trump tweeted that there were “So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed,” including being “expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior.” Trump said, “Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem,” and added, “Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!” Florida Governor Rick Scott called the shooting “pure evil.” In Congress, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut said political leaders who do nothing about this type of tragedy are accomplices.
John McDade/acc CT) VA)
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