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February 14, 2018 03:32 PM

The Latest: Official: ‘Numerous Fatalities’ In School Attack

PARKLAND, Fla. (AP)

6:05 p.m. (EST)

A sheriff says 17 people have died in the shooting attack on a South Florida high school.

Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County says the 19-year-old suspect is in custody and that investigators are beginning to “dissect” what happened in the attack Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

He says the suspect, a former student, was previously expelled for disciplinary reasons.

Israel says the man had at least one rifle and multiple magazines.

He says most of the fatalities were inside the building though some were found fatally shot outside.



5:40 p.m. (EST)


A man says he watched as officers arrested the suspect in the shooting at a Florida high school, where authorities are reporting numerous deaths.

Michael Nembhard told The Associated Press he was in his garage watching TV news coverage of the shooting when he heard a police officer repeatedly yelling, “get on the ground!”

Nembhard says he looked up to see a teenage boy on the ground about 150 yards (meters) away with an officer pointing a gun at him. The officer stood over the boy until other officers arrived, handcuffed him and led him away.

A federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity identified the suspect as Nicolas Cruz. The official says he wasn’t authorized to discuss it publicly.

Authorities say the suspect is a former student about 18 years old.

 

5:20 p.m. (EST)

 

A federal official has identified the Florida school shooting suspect as Nicolas Cruz.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The official says he had been briefed on the investigation into the shooting at the South Florida high school, but was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Authorities in Florida say the shooter opened fire at the school Wednesday afternoon, killing “numerous” people. The shooting sent frightened students running out into the streets and SWAT team members swarming the building.

Authorities later announced that they had taken a former student, about 18 years old, into custody after locating him off the school grounds.

 

5 p.m. (EST)

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel says the shooting suspect is an 18-year-old former student at the South Florida school where the shooting erupted.

He says the teen was arrested without incident after he was located off the school grounds in a nearby community. He didn’t give details of when the suspect had attended the school. But the sheriffs says the suspect wasn’t currently enrolled.

“I don’t know why he left,” Israel said, briefing reporters Wednesday afternoon.

He also says the shooter was outside and inside the school at points during the attack. He didn’t elaborate.

The sheriff says several SWAT teams have gone in during the afternoon and are clearing every building at the Parkland high school complex to ensure no other threat remains.

He also says the FBI has stepped in and will begin processing what he describes as “horrific scene.”

Said the sheriff: “This is a terrible day ... This is catastrophic.”



4:40 p.m. (EST)

Parents described a chaotic and frightening situation as they rushed to find their children in the frantic minutes after reports of a shooting at a South Florida high school began to spread.

Caesar Figueroa says he was one of the first parents to arrive at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. He says he saw police officers bringing out big weapons as they approached the school.

Figueroa’s office is only five minutes from the school where he sends his 16-year-old daughter.

“My wife called me that there was an active shooter and the school was on lockdown. I got on the road and saw helicopters, police with machine guns. It was crazy and my daughter wasn’t answering her phone.”

According to Figueroa, she texted him that she was hidden inside a closet at school with friends: “She was in a classroom and she heard gunshots by the window. She and her friends ran into the closet.”

Another parent, Beth Feingold, says her daughter sent a text at 2:32 p.m. saying “We’re on code red. I’m fine.” But she then sent another text soon afterward saying, “Mom, I’m so scared.” The girl was later able to escape the school unharmed.



4:25 p.m. (EST)

A school official says there are numerous fatalities from the high school shooting in South Florida.

Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie says “There are numerous fatalities. It is a horrific situation.” He added, “It is a horrible day for us.”

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office tweeted Wednesday afternoon that “so far we have at least 14 victims.” The tweet added: “Victims have been and continue to be transported to Broward Health Medical Center and Broward Health North hospital.”

The sheriff’s statement didn’t elaborate on the victims or their injuries.

4:15 p.m. (EST)

The White House has canceled its daily press briefing after a Florida high school shooting that sent students rushing into the streets.

President Donald Trump has spoken with Florida Gov. Rick Scott about the shooting. He says in a tweet that the White House is “working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting.”

He earlier tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump has offered Florida federal assistance, if needed. The homeland security secretary has also been in touch with state and local officials.

Sanders says, “We continue to keep the victims, and their friends and family, in our thoughts and prayers.”

Authorities say the shooter at a South Florida high school is now in custody.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office gave no details in briefly tweeting that development. It did not identify the shooting suspect nor say how the person was taken into custody.

Television footage showed police putting a person in the back of a police car outside the high school.

© 2018 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

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