17 souls today lost their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Using an assault rifle, a former student allegedly opened fire Wednesday afternoon at a high school in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 students and adults before being taken into custody by Broward County Sheriff’s deputies an hour after he fled the scene with other students, the New York Times reports.
The shooting took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School just before the time of dismissal, 2:40 PM. More than 3,000 students attend that high school.
Today, close to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s dismissal, students and staff heard what sounded like gunfire. The school immediately went on lockdown but is now dismissing students. We are receiving reports of possible multiple injuries. Law enforcement is on site.
— Broward Schools (@browardschools) February 14, 2018
The suspect, identified as a 19-year-old former student who had been expelled in the past, reportedly used an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle and was carrying “countless magazines,” according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
School officials released the following brief statement:
Broward County Public Schools is working closely with law enforcement regarding the tragic situation at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, as well as the entire Marjory Stoneman Douglas community.
A staging area has been established for parents of Stoneman Douglas High School to reunite students at the Marriott, 11775 Heron Bay Blvd., Coral Springs.
All Broward County Public Schools athletic (games, contests, and matches) and all other events, which were scheduled to start after 5 p.m., today (February 14) have been cancelled districtwide.
The high school is in the Broward County Public Schools district, with more than 250,000 students. It’s the seventh-largest district in the US and has more than 30 high schools, including a few separate “attendance centers” and Stoneman Douglas, which was built in 1990.
Voxitatis updated this story on February 17 to reflect the following change: The names and partial stories for the 17 people killed were included.