A police official in the American state of Florida says 17 people have died in a shooting attack Wednesday at a high school.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel says police have arrested the suspected shooter. He says the 19-year-old suspect is a former student of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The attack began minutes before the end of the school day.
The attack is the deadliest school shooting in the United States since 2012, when 20 students were killed at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Israel said the suspect had been expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons. The official said the man had at least one rifle and several magazines. Israel said most of the deaths happened inside the building.
One man said he watched as officers arrested the suspect.
Michael Nembhard told The Associated Press he was watching television news reports of the shooting when he heard yelling. He said it was a police officer repeatedly ordering the suspect to “get down on the ground!”
Nembhard said he saw a teenage boy on the ground about 130 meters away. An officer was pointing a gun at him. The officer stood over the boy until other officers arrived, handcuffed him and led him away.
A federal official, who spoke on condition that he would not be identified, said the suspect’s name is Nikolas Cruz.
The White House canceled its daily press briefing after news of the attack. President Donald Trump spoke with Florida Governor Rick Scott about the shooting. Trump wrote on Twitter that the White House is “working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting.”
Earlier, Trump tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims.
His spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said Trump has offered Florida federal assistance, if needed. The homeland security secretary has also been in touch with state and local officials.
Sanders said, “We continue to keep the victims, and their friends and family, in our thoughts and prayers.”
Caty Weaver adapted this story from AP news reports. Hai Do was the editor.
Words in This Story
disciplinary - adj. intended to correct or punish bad behavior
rifle - n. a type of gun with long barrel
magazine - n. part of a gun that holds bullets
handcuff - v. to put handcuffs on someone (a set of two metal rings that are joined together and lock a person's wrists)