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Details on School Shooting Suspect Starting to Emerge

The Broward County Sheriff's Office confirmed that 17 people are dead after a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida Wednesday.

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 3:01 PM
Updated: Feb 14, 2018 8:53 PM

(ABC NEWS) A gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School just after 2 p.m. eastern time Wednesday, leaving 17 people dead and injuring several others.

The victims are a mixture of students and adults. The Broward County Sheriff’s office said in a press conference that the shooting started outside of the school where two of the victims were killed and continued inside where another 12 died in the school. Two other victims later died at the hospital and one more was killed on a street near the high school.

The suspect is in custody and has been identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. The sheriff's office said the suspect was using an AR-15 rifle with "numerous magazines."

Cruz was allegedly able to leave the school after the shooting by blending in with other students who were trying to escape the building, however, he was taken into custody a short time later.

The suspect is a former student of the high school involved and had been previously expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons.

According to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, investigators have already found some "disturbing" content that could have provided warning signs.

"We have already begun to dissect his websites and things on social media that he was on and some of the things that have come to mind are very, very disturbing," Israel said.

A student told ABC News that he had participated in the Junior ROTC program with Cruz and described him as a "psycho" and that Cruz was a well-known weapons enthusiast. According to the student, Cruz once tried to sell knives to classmates and was prohibited from bringing a backpack to school because bullet fragments had once been discovered in his bag.

President Donald Trump tweeted shortly after the shooting, "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."

Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate in response to reports of the shooting.

"It's what looks to be the 18th school shooting in this country and we have not hit March," Murphy said. "Let me just note once again for my colleagues: this happens nowhere else other than the United States of America. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else. As a parent, it scares me to death that this body doesn't take seriously the safety of my children, and it seems like a lot of parents in South Florida are going to be asking that same question later today."

Law enforcement officials are still investigating the motive of the shooter at this time.

The story is still developing, we will continue to provide updates as they are provided.

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