Fa­tal ram­page in­side Florida high school

Winnipeg Sun - - FRONT PAGE -

PARK­LAND, Fla. — A for­mer stu­dent opened fire at a Florida high school Wed­nes­day, killing at least 17 peo­ple and send­ing scores of stu­dents flee­ing into the streets in the na­tion’s dead­li­est school shoot­ing since a gun­man at­tacked an el­e­men­tary school in New­town, Conn.

Fran­tic par­ents rushed to Mar­jory Stone­man Dou­glas High School to find SWAT team mem­bers and am­bu­lances sur­round­ing the cam­pus as classes pre­pared to dis­miss for the day.

Live footage showed emer­gency work­ers who ap­peared to be treat­ing the wounded on side­walks.

“It is a hor­rific sit­u­a­tion,” said Robert Run­cie, su­per­in­ten­dent of the school dis­trict in Park­land, about an hour’s drive north of Mi­ami. “It is a hor­ri­ble day for us.”

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

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

“It’s cat­a­strophic. There re­ally are no words,” Is­rael said on Twit­ter.

Most of the fa­tal­i­ties were in­side the build­ing, though some vic­tims 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.

In a cul-de-sac near the school, Michael Nem­b­hard was sit­ting in his garage when he saw a young man in a bur­gundy shirt walk­ing down the street.

In an in­stant, a po­lice cruiser pulled up and of­fi­cers jumped out with guns drawn.

“All I heard was: ‘Get on the ground! Get on the ground!’ ” Nem­b­hard said.

He said he couldn’t see the sus­pect’s face, but that the man got on the ground with­out in­ci­dent.

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 es­caped the school, which is one of the largest in the state, with about 3,000 stu­dents.


Dis­traught stu­dents hug one an­other fol­low­ing a shoot­ing at a high school in Park­land, Fla., yes­ter­day.

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