Hero teacher saves students, then killed
Death toll may rise in yet another US mass shooting at a school
AT LEAST 17 people are dead after a shooting rampage at a Florida high school allegedly carried out by a former student.
Law enforcement sources confirmed the figure as authorities released the name of the suspect.
Florida police say suspect Nikolas de Jesus Cruz, 19, entered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday and carried out the massacre.
Police say Cruz walked onto campus and shot his way into the school building before deliberately triggering a fire alarm. Students and teachers started leaving classrooms and the gunman opened fire.
The tragic toll makes this the eighth deadliest shooting in modern history.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel described the incident as a “horrific homicidal act” and said 12 people were killed inside the school, two outside the buildings and one person on the street. Two victims died in hospital.
“Approximately 14 people were transported to area hospitals with various degrees of injuries, there are multiple casualities, there are folks who have lost their lives,” Mr Israel said.
A teenager caught up in the shooting revealed how a teacher lost his life trying to save his students.
The student, Alex, told South Florida News WSVN7, she was inside a classroom when the gunman walked past.
She and others hid in a room her teacher had unlocked for them.
But he was shot by the gunman and died as he tried to lock the students safely inside.
“So we heard our fire alarm for the second time that day which is weird,” she said
“We all got upstairs and into the classroom, and when he tried to unlock the door, me and a couple other people ran in, and as he was closing the door, he was actually shot and killed right there.”
She said the door was left open the whole time and the gunman could have walked in but students tried to hide or lie on the floor so the gunman wouldn’t notice.
The shooter, who was previously a student at the school, was identified as a potential threat previously.
President Donald Trump responded to the school shooting in Florida, saying “no child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school”.
“My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting,” he wrote on Twitter.
Cruz was arrested within an hour without incident.
Sheriff Israel said Cruz was once expelled for disciplinary reasons.
“It’s a terrible day for Parkland, Broward County, the state of Florida and the US,” he said.
“My own triplets graduated here. It’s catastrophic, there are really no words.”
AS HE WAS CLOSING THE DOOR, (THE TEACHER) WAS ACTUALLY SHOT AND KILLED RIGHT THERE
EMOTIONS RELEASED: Students embrace after being released from the lockdown. INSET: Police evacuate students.