UPDATE 9:07 P.M. EST: In another press conference Wednesday night, Sheriff Israel relayed the following:”Since we’ve last briefed, we’ve identified 12 [of 17 fatality] victims within the school. We will not be releasing the names of any victims until every family and every parent is notified accordingly.” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was also present to let the press know the state will be paying for the funerals of the victims and counseling for survivors.
UPDATE 6:26 P.M. EST: In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, the Broward County Sheriff confirmed there are 17 dead. He also confirms the suspect is a 19-year-old former student who was expelled for disciplinary reasons.
UPDATE 6:17 P.M. EST: Broward County Public Schools Supt. Robert Runcie has confirmed fatalities, saying: “There are fatalities that are involved. We can’t confirm the number at this point. There are numerous fatalities. It’s a horrific situation. It’s just a horrible day for us.”
UPDATE 5:03 P.M. EST: Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel revealed in a press conference saying the shooter was not a current student and that he was found off-campus and taken into arrest without incident. According to African Lions Maul Suspected Poacher To Death
Student Michael Katz said he “heard what sounded like a garbage truck like banging” at the end of the school day. He recalls:
“Then also I hear, ‘Boom, boom, boom.’ I hear screaming everywhere… I just got underneath my teacher’s desk… We had police invade the school, and we were taken out… Fortunately, my father was there to pick me up.”‘
“The school immediately went on lockdown but is now dismissing students. We are receiving reports of possible multiple injuries. Law enforcement is on site.”
Officials have urged locals to avoid the area.
On social media, images from inside and outside the high school have been released:
Steady stream of swat and police officers walking and running into Douglas high school @CoralSpringsFL @Coralspringsfla @StonemanDouglas pic.twitter.com/A1e1dRBSp3
— Grumpyhaus (@Grumpyhaus) February 14, 2018
After the news broke, President Donald Trump released the following statement where he sends his “prayers and condolences to the families of the victims.”
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 American school.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2018
Additionally, 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.”
According to the Broward County Public Schools Twitter account, law enforcement is in the process of dismissing students.
At this time, law enforcement is clearing students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one building at a time. We will continue to provide updates, as more information becomes available.
— Broward Schools (@browardschools) February 14, 2018
This story is developing; more details to come.
[Image via ABC News.]