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Thursday, February 15, 2018

American Carnage: 17 Killed in Florida High School Shooting

Nikolas Cruz tried to blend in with panicked students fleeing the Florida high school he had just opened fire in, killing 17, authorities said.

Cruz concealed himself in the crowd and was seen running out of the school with hundreds of terrified students, authorities said. 
Authorities said Cruz was later taken into custody “without incident” by Coconut Creek police in a Coral Springs neighborhood, located just a few miles from the high school itself.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said Cruz, 19, was identified as the only possible gunman after looking at security footage from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Police said Cruz was taken to the hospital because he “exhibited labored breathing.” He was later seen being escorted into Broward Sheriff's headquarters in a medical robe.
The carnage, however, had already taken its toll.
Noah Parness, 17, told the Associated Press that the fire alarm went off for the second time in the day at around 2:30 p.m. Parness said students were calmly filing out of the school when he suddenly heard several pops.
"Everyone was kind of just standing there calm, and then we saw a bunch of teachers running down the stairway, and then everybody shifted and broke into a sprint," Parness said. "I hopped a fence."
An unidentified student described the gruesome scene in an interview with Fox News.
"The police came through the hallway to get us and in the hallway, I saw a big pile of blood, like, kind of smeared as if they were dragged away, and I saw two girls probably dead in the hallway," she said. "And then, coming down the stairs, there was some more blood and outside the building there was another guy – I think it was a teacher – who was, [I’m] pretty sure was dead."
The motive behind the massacre was not immediately clear. Lawmakers and officials suggested the shooting may have been planned.
Sheriff Scott Israel, from Broward County, said at an evening news conference that the suspect carried an AR-15 rifle and had “countless magazines.” He did not specify how many rounds were fired.
"It's catastrophic. There really are no words," Israel said.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., told Fox News that Cruz was wearing a gas mask and may have had smoke bombs during the rampage.
Nelson said in a separate interview with CNN that Cruz used the fire alarm “so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall.”
After speaking with authorities, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, said in a tweet “it is clear attack was designed & executed to maximize loss of life.

Nikolas Cruz opened fire in Florida high school then fled with students, police say Ryan Gaydos Fox News Feb 14 2018

17 Killed in 'Catastrophic' Florida High School Shooting: Here's What to Know  LISA MARIE SEGARRA, KATIE REILLY ELI MEIXLER February 15, 2018

Florida school shooting survivors speak out: 'There were bullet holes everywhere' JULIA JACOBO BILL HUTCHINSON Feb 14, 2018 

Sparatoria in Florida, studente espulso apre il fuoco a scuola e uccide 17 persone Martina Pennisi Annalisa Grandi 14 febbraio 2018

A Florida high school massacre and guns: A requiem for sanity Rex Huppke Chicago Tribune Feb 14 2018

The gunman who killed at least 17 people at a Florida high school was a former student who posted disturbing material on social media and was "crazy about guns".
Police identified the suspect as Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old who had been expelled from  Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, about 45 miles (72 km) north of Miami.
The suspect was wearing a gas mask and carrying smoke grenades, Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida told CNN.
Mr Nelson, who said he had been briefed by the FBI, said the attacker "set off the fire alarm so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall. And there the carnage began."
He said he did not know if the gunman had used the smoke grenades but he assumed that's why he had a gas mask on.
Authorities later announced that they had taken the suspect into custody and took him to hospital after locating him  in Coral Springs, a little over a mile away from the school. The gunman surrendered to police without a struggle, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.
Jim Gard, a maths teacher, said Cruz had been in his class last year.
“We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” Mr Gard told the Miami Herald. “There were problems with him last year threatening students.”
However, Robert Runcie, the Broward County School District Superintendent, told reporters he was not aware of any concerns raised about the student.
“We received no warnings,” Mr Runcie said outside the school. “Potentially there could have been signs out there. But we didn't have any warning or phone calls or threats that were made.”
One student, who did not wish to be named, told TV station WSVN-7 that Cruz had said he had guns at home and talked about using them. 
“He’s been a troubled kid,” the student said. “He’s always had a certain amount of issues going on. He shot guns because he felt it gave him, I guess, an exhilarating feeling.”

'Very disturbing' social media history

Mr Israel said the gunman had an AR-15 assault rifle and "countless magazines".

“We already began to dissect his websites and the things on social media that he was on and some of the things that came to mind are very, very disturbing," he said.

His Instagram account was taken down after the shooting, but screenshots were sent to various media outlets.

In almost every picture, he is said to be wearing a black shirt or scarf over his face, to conceal his identity.

One photo reportedly shows a used paper target from a shooting range, with the words “Group Therapy” underneath. “It really does f–king work,” the caption said.

Another post, from January 2016, shows an advertisement for a pump action shotgun.

“I plan on getting this but I need more information on it,” the caption said. “If someone could give advice on how much I’m spending and background checks please to god let me know.”

Former classmates and friends have confirmed to media that the account is his.

Everything he posts is about weapons,” one student told ABC News. “It’s sick.

Daniel Huerfano, a student who fled Wednesday's attack, said he recognised Cruz from an Instagram photo in which Cruz posed with a gun in front of his face. Huerfano recalled Cruz as a shy student and remembered seeing him walking around with his lunch bag.

"He was that weird kid that you see ... like a loner," he added.

One pupil said other teenagers had long thought the suspect would “shoot up the school”.

The pupil told local television station WFOR-TV: “A lot of people were saying it was going to be him. A lot of kids threw jokes around saying that he was going to be the one to shoot up the school. It turns out that everyone predicted it. That’s crazy.

Broward County Mayor Beam Furr said during an interview with CNN that the shooter was getting treatment at a mental health clinic for a while, but that he hadn't been back to the clinic for more than a year.

"It wasn't like there wasn't concern for him," Mr Furr said. "We try to keep our eyes out on those kids who aren't connected ... Most teachers try to steer them toward some kind of connections. ... In this case, we didn't find a way to connect with this kid."

Another student, named as Brandon, was asked whether he was surprised to learn the identity of the gunman, and replied: “No.” He continued: “He told me he got kicked out of two private schools, and was held back twice. He seemed a little off.”

'Crazy about guns'

Chad Williams, 18, a senior at Stoneman Douglas High school, remembered Cruz as a troubled classmate from when they attended middle school together. He said Cruz would set off the fire alarm, day after day, and finally got expelled in the eighth grade.

More recently, Williams saw Cruz carrying several publications about guns when they ran into each other at the high school. Williams thought Cruz was there to pick up a younger sibling.

“He was crazy about guns,” Williams told Reuters, speaking by the side of the road near the high school. “He was kind of an outcast. He didn’t have many friends. He would do anything crazy for a laugh, but he was trouble.”

Victoria Olvera, a 17-year-old junior, said Cruz was expelled last school year after a fight with his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend. She said Cruz had been abusive to his girlfriend.

Dakota Mutchler, a 17-year-old junior, said he used to be close friends with Cruz but hadn't seen him in more than a year following his expulsion from school.

'If anyone would do it, it was him'

"He started progressively getting a little more weird," Mutchler said.

Mutchler recalled Cruz posting on Instagram about killing animals and said he had talked about doing target practice in his backyard with a pellet gun.

"He started going after one of my friends, threatening her, and I cut him off from there," Mutchler said.

"I think everyone had in their minds if anybody was going to do it, it was going to be him," Mutchler said.

Travis Julmice, an 18-year-old senior, said he had not been in a class with Cruz since middle school.

"You could tell he was a little off," Julmice told Reuters at the Coral Springs hotel. "He was always like a troubled kid, getting in-school suspension a lot. And detentions."

Florida school massacre suspect had 'disturbing' social media history and 'was crazy about guns' Chris Graham 15 FEBRUARY 2018

AR-15, the weapon of choice for mass murders, claims 17 more lives REBEKAH ENTRALGO FEB 14, 2018

Rifles of Choice for Mass Killers August 11, 2016

Attacks in Russian schools inspired by Columbine massacre January 29, 2018

Teenager opens fire at classmates in deadly school shooting January 23, 2018

A Prescription for Mass Murder 2 October 5, 2017

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