17 Dead, at Least 14 Injured in Florida High School Shooting

February 14, 2018 10:07 PM

A shooting at a Florida high school left 17 people dead and at least 14 people injured, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

Authorities identified the shooter at a Parkland, Florida, high school as Nikolas Cruz. Israel said Cruz is in custody.

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Cruz, who was equipped with a gas mask and smoke grenades, set off a fire alarm to draw students out of their classrooms shortly before the school day ended, officials said.

Israel called it an "unbelievably catastrophic day" at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Israel added Cruz is not a current student, and he was found off-campus. He was taken into custody without incident and was taken to a hospital by ambulance, he said.

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie echoed Israel, telling members of the media there were "numerous fatalities" and called the situation "horrific." 

The sheriff's office said via Twitter there were at least 14 victims. It said authorities are continuing to take the victims to a nearby hospital. 

At 4 p.m., the sheriff's office said SWAT teams are still clearing the school, which includes several buildings on campus. 

Students with bookbags were seen sprinting out of the building as authorities with guns drawn swarmed the school. Other students were seen lined up one by one, leaving the area in an orderly fashion.

Len Murray's 17-year-old son, a junior at the South Florida high school where shooting was reported, 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."

Those words came at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. A few minutes later, he texted again: "I'm fine."

Murray raced to the school only to be stopped by authorities under a highway overpass within view of the school buildings in Parkland.

No information was immediately given to parents, Len Murray says, and he says he remained worried for all those inside.

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

Officials urged the public to avoid the area and have set up a staging area for parents looking for children.

 The FBI and ATF also responded to the scene.

White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement, "The president has been made aware of the school shooting in Florida. We are monitoring the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected."

President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon, "My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an America school."

With more than 271,500 students, Broward County Public Schools is the sixth largest district in the country and Florida's second largest.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

ABC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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