Archive for Wednesday, February 14, 2018

17 killed in Florida high school shooting; suspect was former student with rifle

In this frame grab from video provided by WPLG-TV, students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., evacuate the school following a shooting there on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (WPLG-TV via AP)

In this frame grab from video provided by WPLG-TV, students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., evacuate the school following a shooting there on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (WPLG-TV via AP)

February 14, 2018, 3:50 p.m. Updated February 14, 2018, 5:54 p.m.


A former student opened fire at a Florida high school Wednesday as classes were being dismissed, killing at least 17 people and sending scores of students running into the streets to escape the bullets.

Frantic parents rushed to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where SWAT team members and ambulances had surrounded the campus. Live footage showed emergency workers who appeared to be treating the wounded on sidewalks.

"It is a horrific situation," Superintendent Robert Runcie said. "It is a horrible day for us."

The 19-year-old suspect was taken into custody without incident about an hour after he left the school, authorities said.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said the suspect, who was previously expelled for disciplinary reasons, had at least one AR-15 rifle and multiple magazines.

Most of the fatalities were inside the building, though some were found fatally shot outside, the sheriff said.

The gunman was identified as Nicolas Cruz by a U.S. official briefed on the investigation. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the information publicly.

The day started normally at the school, which had a morning fire drill, and students were in class around 2:30 p.m. when another alarm sounded.

Noah Parness, a 17-year-old junior, said he and the other students calmly went outside to their fire-drill areas when he suddenly heard popping sounds.

"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."

Beth Feingold said her daughter, Brittani, sent a text at 2:32 p.m. that said, "We're on code red. I'm fine," but sent another text shortly afterward saying, "Mom, I'm so scared."

Brittani later was able to escape the school, but was running along a busy road for part of the time, in what was a very chaotic scene around school — one of the state's largest in the county with about 3,000 students.

Inside the school, students heard loud bangs as the shooter opened fire. Many of them hid under desks or in closets and barricaded doors.

Live footage showed those students who fled leaving in a single-file line with their hands over their heads as officers urged them to evacuate quickly. Parents hurried to the scene.

Caesar Figueroa said when he got to the school to check on his 16-year-old daughter, he saw police officers drawing machine guns as they approached the campus.

"My wife called me that there was an active shooter, and the school was on lockdown. I got on the road and saw helicopters. ... It was crazy and my daughter wasn't answering her phone." She finally texted him that she was inside a closet with friends.

Len Murray's 17-year-old son, a junior at the school, sent his parents a chilling text: "Mom and Dad, there have been shots fired on campus at school. There are police sirens outside. I'm in the auditorium and the doors are locked."

A few minutes later, he texted again: "I'm fine."

Murray said he raced to the school only to be stopped by authorities under a highway overpass within view of the school buildings. He said he told his son to save his battery and stop texting, while the boy's mother told him to turn off his ringer.

Authorities told parents to gather at a nearby hotel to get information.

"I'm scared for the other parents here. You can see the concern in everybody's faces. Everybody is asking, 'Have you heard from your child yet?'" Murray said.

Murray said he's had just one thought running through his mind since he got his son's text: "All I keep thinking about is when I dropped him off this morning. I usually say, 'I love you,' and I didn't this morning. He's 17, he's at that age, and I didn't say it this morning, and I'm just kicking myself right now over and over and over. Say it early and often, I'm telling you."


Geoff Ermlap 4 months, 1 week ago

another downpayment from the NRA. Thanks again and again and again and again...........................................................

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

Cue discussion about what is an assault rife is and isn't, thoughts and prayers, mental illness, then nothing. No money for mental illness. No talk of limiting how many rounds are in a magazine (and I could care less if that's not what they call it), and no talk about trying to solve the problem. The kid probably got the guns at home, but will his parents be charged? Or whoever bought the gun for him, will they be charged?

How many school shootings were there when I went to school? None. How many when my daughter went to school? None. This is what my grandchildren have to deal with. What's changed? People don't just have that hunting rifle hanging on the gun rack of their truck. They have weapons that kill fast, with very little aiming skills.

Andrew Applegarth 4 months, 1 week ago

I know it's impolite to ask a woman her age, but I've never met a person from the 1800's before, so how old are you? The last time a person could complete a K-12 education without a school shooting occurring ended in 1853.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

Well, you must be incredibly young, because 18 deaths total during the whole '60's compared to 148 in this decade, and we still have almost 2 years to go is a big difference. I'm not too old to remember that we NEVER had an active shooter drill. I was a teacher. We never had active shooter drills until about 5 years ago.

Of course in the '60's lots of people didn't own AR15's, did they. Much easier to kill with, isn't it. That happened recently, because Obama was coming for your guns, so all you little sheep ran out and bought them and extra ammo, and made some gun manufacturer and the NRA rich. Have they ever thanked you for being a chump?

That kind of gun is for lousy marksmen. Anyone can kill a bunch of people without even aiming. It's the gun of sniveling cowards.

Instead of thoughts and prayers, why not send a thank card to the parents for sacrificing their children to your 2nd amendment rights.

Andrew Applegarth 4 months, 1 week ago

Unless you were born in the 1800's (decade, not century) or maybe the 1810's, there was a school shooting while you were in school and/or while your daughter was in school. Forgetting that you said "None." and trying to move the goal posts doesn't mean I'm going to forget what you said. You're the one severely lacking in reading comprehension, not me.

AR-15 Ad circa 1964

AR-15 Ad circa 1964 by Andrew Applegarth

The AR-15 first went on the civilian market in the early 1964 and sold fairly well. Other companies jumped on the market in 1977 when the patent expired. It is not some new weapon that just came on the scene. It's been around for about a month and 54 years.

I would take offense at your categorization of AR-15 owners as lousy marksmen and cowards, but why would I care what a demented old hag with no knowledge on the subject says in an attempt to distract me from her lies? If you're going to try and insult me, you really need to be a lot smarter than you are...

Why don't you send a thank you card to the parents of the shooter for providing you another example to use in your push for gun control? You are practically giddy with excitement each time it happens, so let them know how much you appreciate them.

Sam Crow 4 months, 1 week ago

Dot just makes things up as she goes along, in an ill conceived effort to bolster her beliefs..

But Dot doesn't consider the many thousands of people that sacrificed their lives in the Revolutionary War, which led to the ability to write the United States Constitution, which of course includes the Second Amendment she so despises.

Mike Riner 4 months, 1 week ago

Dorothy, it would be SO refreshing to see a reply from you that contained facts and your opinion, but without the insults and name calling. You are so very predictable.

Greg DiVilbiss 4 months, 1 week ago

Could it be partly the glorification of violence coming from Hollywood? Maybe first person shooting games. The general lack of respect for authority from kids on TV shows? The 24-hour news cycle? The breakdown of the family? The inability to discipline kids in school (Like when you were a student) etc...Or maybe it was just a nutcase who decided that they have no respect for life, their own or others.

It appears from the stories that many people had this person on their watch list because of public threats in social media. Was he investigated? Was there an attempt to confiscate weapons? When the threats were noticed could he have been put in a facility for a psychiatric evaluation?

At the same time, common sense gun laws should be considered.

Pete Kennamore 4 months, 1 week ago

Please share your ideas for "common sense gun laws" with us.

Bob Summers 4 months, 1 week ago

Do the amniocentesis test as a requirement to purchase a firearm.

Test affirmative for the Liberal gene.

No gun for you.

Watch incidents of mass death plummet.

Perform the test on this killer.

Let's find out what type of humanoid this one is.

Bob Summers 4 months, 1 week ago

Wearing a hat is a choice.

Genetic make up is not a choice.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 months, 1 week ago

What proof do you have that Liberals make up the majority of mass shooters? Go ahead. Please provide the stats. I'll wait. What I found is that it is pretty much equal. Most studies showed it had virtually nothing to do with Political affiliation. But, go ahead and "Troll". It is what you do. Blaming one group over another solves nothing. This problem affects all of us and will only be solved by all of us. Troll on, Bob. Troll on!

Justin Hoffman 4 months, 1 week ago

This is what happens when you take God out of families and schools. Blame not the guns but the evil hearts and souls of men.

Steve King 4 months, 1 week ago

Banning guns won't solve this. Too many on the streets already. Unregistered, no serial number, "ghost" guns are prolific. And legal. Curbs on bump stocks and other modifications will help. More focus on mental health will help. The Flordia shooter has been expelled from 3 schools. Facebook littered with gun pics. Our leaders (sic) give us thoughts and prayers. Peroid. Sad.

Pete Kennamore 4 months, 1 week ago

I agree Steve. Its not about the guns its about getting treatment to those with mental health issues. Apparently the warning signs were all over this man's life.

Richard Aronoff 4 months, 1 week ago

WAIT!!!!! What the Associated Press left out of this report are the following facts:

1) Several students predicted that this kid would shoot up the school. 2) A teacher sent out an email to the faculty saying that Cruz should not be all0wed on campus with a backpack due to the fact that he had brought bullets to the school in a backpack. 3) He had been expelled from school for still undisclosed reasons.

But perhaps the worst thing is this:

It seems to me, given the history, Cruz's comments and postings on YouTube and Instagram should have merited a visit from law enforcement with a search warrant for his residence. His YouTube comment alone should have been enough probable cause to obtain a warrant.

Carol Bowen 4 months, 1 week ago

No more platitudes and assumptions. Allow the Center for Disease Control to collect and analyze data. (Currently, the CDC, by law, cannot collect data.) Improve nationwide background checks including social media. And quit telling me automatic weapons are sporting. A few years ago, I had no issues with gun ownership or use. I watch shoot 'm ups on TV. Violence is out of control. It's time to govern.

Bob Smith 4 months, 1 week ago

Automatic firearms have been heavily regulated since 1934. Some states prohibit their possession.

Gary Stussie 4 months, 1 week ago

Heart breaking!

As Dorothy points out mass murder of school children is a fairly modern phenomenon.

Perhaps we should be questioning what has changed. What has decreased empathy? What could generate that much resentment?

Permissive society? Inability to handle rejection?

Blaming high capacity weapons is too easy ... These killers inevitably talk of "killing as many as possible" ... they often are carrying bombs and other weapons..

While there is significant controversy, my money is on violent video games.

Have you watched the development of video games? Initially, the user was pitted against something non-human (space aliens for instance). Then it became common place to be the "good guy" battling humans that were clearly "thugs". Now the battle is waged against beautiful men and woman warriors! Hard to imagine that spending 4 or 8 hours a day killing virtual human beings is not going to warp a few minds.

The American Psychological Association seems to agree. They concluded while there was "no single risk factor" to blame for aggression, violent video games did contribute!

"The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and increases in aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions and aggressive affect, and decreases in pro-social behavior, empathy and sensitivity to aggression,"

One of the students who carried out the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 used a gun he called "Arlene" - allegedly after a character in a novel inspired by the computer game Doom.

As with everything, violent video game contribution to aggression was recently challenged by a group of 230 academics from universities around the world who pointed out in an open letter to the APA that youth violence in the US and around the world was currently "at a 40-year low".

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 4 months, 1 week ago

While I agree that these video games are disgusting, what are the stats for their use in other countries? Do kids play them as much? We need to look at other countries where this kind of violence doesn't occur, or doesn't occur as often. Do their children play violent video games? I'm sure they at least have access to American violent movies, but are they as popular? What kinds of gun control do they have? As to the "God" in schools argument that Bob is making, many countries who don't have this kind of gun violence are secular countries without God in their schools, so that's not the answer.

We do have a lot of radical cults, like the White Supremacist group who claimed that this jerk trained with them. Even if these groups don't carry out a lot of violence on their own, they train for it and talk big. Then they get someone who is just crazy enough to go through with the big, bad macho talk. But that just might explain this incident, not the others.

How do you think the NRA would have reacted if the FBI had swooped down on this jerk and confiscated his guns, then committed him to a mental hospital. And that's a whole other problem; no way to involuntarily commit someone and so many mental health facilities shut down. Don't you think the NRA would be screaming about his 2nd amendment rights?

If they were serious about making sure things like this wouldn't happen, that's what the police need to be allowed to do. There is the nut case in Alabama who killed the bus driver and kidnapped the little boy. The neighbors knew he was crazy, the police knew he was crazy, but until he broke the law, he was allowed to keep his guns. Would the NRA scream about a school that reports and puts someone on the background check list? I'm guessing they would be fighting it in a flash.

Michael Kort 4 months, 1 week ago

I think that deer need to be armed so that they can shoot back at the human hunters !

Yea, people are hunted these days......... but not by Bamby !

In my whole time in K-12 in th Kansas City Mo school district as a pupil, we never had a school building shooting and certainly not mass shootings where one individual with a gun killed 17 people and wounded however many more .

Occasionally n KC the mobsters would eliminate each other but even those murders would pail in compared to the regular parade of mindless mass killings that parade across the screen on the evening news .

Their " thoughts and prayers " is sounding more like " we think that PRAYING ON THE PUBLIC, with newer and bigger excuses for not keeping guns out of the hands of the insane,..... is OK with us "!

Yes we see them on TV,.......out there being prayerfull in public..... and so Christian like they never read the Sermon On The Monunt and what Christ said referring to those who pray in public to be seen, as being hypocrites ( meaning "ACTORS" shortage of those in DC )

Yea, sure, are the equivalent firepower of a tyrannical government (?) with your AR-15 ? RIght ? You are going to shoot it out with an M-1A1 or an A-10 Warthog, which the framers of our constitution never imagined......nor did they imagine daily mass murders that were not committed by foreign powers, tyrants or Indians defending themselves against colonists .

Of course, they never imagined that slavery would be outlawed, that women might vote, that non land owners might vote, that foriegn media agitators might invade our American media......and on and on.......these people were not absolute rocket scientists so they desided that everyone needed to have a gun, as an absolute right for ever, even if they were an insane person .

Trump over turned an Obama Presidential Order that was designed to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally we just had a mentally ill person with the access to a killing machine and ammunition, with time on their hands, who goes back to their usual play ground for acting out.......a school......and they acts out..........Thank You Donald Trump for Making America 17 People Less Great ! ! !......because the mentally ill are contributing to the economy by increasing gun sales nationally with every mass murder spree that they commit more people run out and buy guns......and the.murdering dupes of the arms industry, dupes who will end up in jail for life or as dead people themselves know no better......and a % of new panic bought guns will eventually be stolen and go criminal on the street or lead to a child shooting ! GREAT !

Bob Smith 4 months, 1 week ago

Calm ..... down ......, Michael...... You'll ..... do ..... yourself ..... a ....... mischief ..... all ... that .... ranting ..... and .... taking ..... on ...... so...... BTW, you completely misrepresent the nature of the executive order that the President overturned recently, but then you never did have a good grasp of reality.

Michael Kort 4 months, 1 week ago

We as a nation have " Sown The Wind " thru military sales all over the world .......and not always to the good we " Reap The Whirlwind " as our country becomes an armed camp of hot heads and idiots on a mission to become famous or simply infamous .

We could not resist the urge to sell arms to anyone.............guys like Saddam.........and now we do the same here at home........we sell to the mentally ill on a mission .

Bob Smith 4 months, 1 week ago

Here's a breath of reason in what has been a storm of hysteria over the last couple of days. Everytown is proving once again that they are willing to lie and distort to advance their cause.

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