A former student opened fire at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing at least 17 people. The gunman, identified as 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, had been expelled from the school because of disciplinary issues.
Mr. Cruz, who is now in custody, was brought to the hospital for minor wounds after his arrest without incident in Coral Springs, a nearby town. Several magazines and an AR-15 rifle were found among his possessions, and officials who have examined his websites and posts on social media have found them to be “very, very disturbing.”
There were both minors and adults among those killed, according to Steve Israel, Broward County Sheriff. He added that 12 of them had been shot while they were inside the school.
Parkland is a city with 30,000 inhabitants and is found 80 kilometers from Miami. It is just the latest place where there have been shootings since the beginning of 2018, highlighting an epidemic in the US of violence that is gun-related, as there are 33,000 fatalities from gun violence yearly. Many citizens have taken exception to the easy access to firearms in the country.
Mr. Cruz had been identified as a threat to the safety of others as early as last year, and was eventually disallowed from returning to campus. He reportedly set off the fire alarm before shooting at people, making the students and teachers an open target.
Christine Hunschofsky, the Mayor of Parkland, said that there is only one entry point to the school and that it is guarded by a policeman at all times.
President Trump sent out a condolence message via Twitter, which said, “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.”
There have been 283 school shootings all over the US since January 2013, an average of one every week, says a non-profit advocacy for gun control, Everytown for Gun Safety. Schools have boosted their procedures and drills should such emergencies arise, ever since the 2012 school shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, teaching students what to do in the event that a gunman should suddenly open fire in their surroundings.
Many netizens again attributed the shooting to the lack of gun control laws
Others called out President Trump on the hypocrisy of his tweet, since he himself is a supporter of the National Rifle Association (NRA).