Washington: A former student armed with an assault-style rifle went on a shooting spree at a high school in Florida, killing at least 17 people and injuring more than a dozen others, in one of the deadliest mass shootings in the US.
The 19 year-old suspect identified as Nikolas Cruz, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland who was expelled for disciplinary reasons, was arrested after the deadly rampage yesterday.
According to media reports, the suspect is a troubled teenager who posted disturbing material on social media before the shooting spree.
“Nicolas Cruz was the killer. He is in custody. We already began to dissect his websites and social media that he was on … some of the things that come to mind are very, very disturbing,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters at a news conference in Florida.
“He had countless magazines, multiple magazines, and at this point, we believe he had one AR-15 rifle,” the sheriff added.
According to investigators, Cruz pulled the fire alarm to draw people out of classrooms and increase the number of casualties, the CNN reported. But the school already had a fire drill earlier in the day, leading some to think it was a false alarm.
Of the 17 dead, 12 were inside the building, two were shot dead just outside the building, one was on a street outside the school, and two people lost their lives at a hospital. Israel, however, could not confirm the number of victim students.
Authorities said several victims were being treated in the hospital. Three of them are in critical condition. PTI