Updated 8:18 p.m.
At least seventeen people have been killed in a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida today. The shooting took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Law enforcement responded to calls at the school shortly before 3 p.m.
The suspect has been identified as 19-year-old Nikoals Cruz. Cruz is a former student at Douglas H.S. who, according to authorities was expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons. Police are investigating his digital profile, and what they’ve found, they said, is “very, very disturbing.”
Students describe a hearing the fire alarm go off prior to the shooting, and then a succession of gunshots. Eyewitnesses say after that students began running back inside of the school building. It’s now believed Cruz pulled the fire alarm to draw people out of classrooms.
“We all thought it was a fire drill because we had one previously today” a student said. “And we thought it was, so no one was that nervous, but then word started going around that it was shots and not just, like, something else, everyone just started running towards the canal.”
Seventeen people in all, including the suspect, were taken to local hospitals. The suspect was treated and then released into police custody.
Parkland is a city just outside of Boca Raton, Florida, in Broward Country. It was named Florida’s safest city last year.