PARKLAND, Fla. – Authorities say a suspected school shooter is in custody following a shooting at Florida high school on Wednesday afternoon.
Witnesses reported that the shooting began in a freshman hallway at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Nicole Baltzer, 18, said she was in trigonometry class about 10 minutes before the end of the school day when the fire alarm went off. As students evacuated, she heard six gunshots and everyone started running back inside the school, Baltzer told CNN’s Sara Ganim.
“I heard so many gunshots, at least like six. They were very close,” Baltzer said.
Investigators told NBC 6 that there were reports of victims, and some of the reported victims could be seen being carried out of the school. The Broward County Sheriff says that there are at least 14 victims, and the school superintendent told WSVN that there “have been numerous fatalities.”
When asked how many people were killed, officials with the sheriff’s office said “multiple.”
“It’s just catastrophic. There really are no words,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a news conference.
Dozens of students could be seen running from the school with their hands up as armed police escorted them to safety. They were then moved to a green space and told to abandon their backpacks in the street.
About an hour after the shooting began, the Broward County Sheriff confirmed that the shooter was taken into custody.
Sheriff Israel said that the shooter is a former student, and is not a current student at the school. He said he is 18-years-old.
Broward Schools released the following statement:
“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.”
The White House says that President Trump “has been made aware of the school shooting in Florida. We are monitoring the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.”
Parkland is a city of more than 20,000 people outside Boca Raton in Broward County, Florida. Stoneman Douglas High School had an enrollment of about 3,100 students in the 2015-16 year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
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