Alleged Florida gunman charged with killing at least 17 people
Nikolas Cruz, 19, was charged with killing at least 17 people and injuring several others after Wednesday’s deadly shooting in Florida.
Valentine’s Day was bloodshed by a former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student armed with an AR-15 rifle. Police said he gunned down the victims around 2:30 p.m., after he allegedly set off a fire alarm to send people outside.
As people were leaving the building, Cruz opened fire and followed others running back inside the building, officials said.
“I thought at the beginning this was all a drill, it was just a drill. Until I saw my teacher dead on the floor,” Kelsey Friend, a student who survived after the shooting told CNN.
She hid under her teacher’s desk with other students in the classroom, and found he was lying in the doorway.
“I believe that my teacher — the reason that he was lying in the doorway is because he protected us,” Friend said to CNN.
Cruz, a former student at the high school, was expelled for disciplinary problems the previous year.
He had lived with his adoptive mother, Lynda Cruz, until she died of pneumonia last November.
CNN reported that his social media included a variety of gun- and violence-related posts.
According to Denise Lehtio, Communications Director with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Varsity and JV Football Program, Assistant Football Coach Aaron Feis died at the hospital because of fatal injuries.
Lehtio said Feis threw himself in front of children who were shot by the suspect as a human shield.
“He died the same way he lived — he put himself second,” Lehtio said. “He was a very kind soul, a very nice man. He died a hero.”
It is with Great sadness that our Football Family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis. He was our Assistant Football Coach and security guard. He selflessly shielded students from the shooter when he was shot. He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories pic.twitter.com/O181FvuHl3
— MS Douglas Football (@MSDEagles) 2018年2月15日
Chris Hixon, the athletic director for the high school, was killed in yesterday’s shooting. Lehtio also told CNN that Hixon is the second faculty member victim of the high school.
Alyssa Ahadeff, 15, was one of the first student victims identified, the Miami Herald reported.
Martin Duque was also confirmed killed, according to a post on his older brother’s Instagram page.
Nicholas Dworet, a senior at the school who was also killed, had acquired a swimming scholarship to the University of Indianapolis, according to The Intercept.
One of yesterday’s victims, Nicholas Dworet, was a senior who just received a swimming scholarship to the University of Indianapolis. My niece was friends with him since kindergarten and posted her memories this morning. Such a heartbreaking loss and sickeningly avoidable traged pic.twitter.com/m3EEHjKjOe
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) 2018年2月15日
Jamie Guttenberg — her father Fred Guttenberg confirmed her death in the shooting, and said on Facebook “I am broken as I write this trying to figure out how my family gets through this.”
Luke Hoyer — his great-aunt Toni Stroud Brownlee confirmed his death on Facebook. He was found on the third floor of the school.
Gina Montalto — Armando D. Sotero Jr., a high school classmate of Gina’s mother Jennifer, confirmed her death, and said on Facebook, “There are no words that will translate the pain and suffering that Jennifer and her family must be feeling.”
Joaquin Olivier —Olivier was born in Venezuela and moved to the United States when he was three years old. He got his American citizenship in Jan. 2017, the Miami Herald reported.
Alaina Petty — her great aunt Claudette McMahon Joshi wrote that 14-year-old was one of the victims in Florida.
Meadow Pollack —the Palm Beach Post reported that her father Andrew confirmed that his daughter was killed in the shooting.
— The Palm Beach Post (@pbpost) 2018年2月15日
Carmen Schentrup, a semi-finalist for the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program, was confirmed dead by her friends.
A lot of people reacted the Florida’s shooting in Twitter with hashtag FloridaSchoolShooting.
— Niz (@BiggestSavage) 2018年2月15日
I’m sending all my love to the #FloridaSchoolShooting Victims, when is America going to realise?
— Anastasia? (@AnastasiaK_xoxo) 2018年2月15日
I couldn’t imagine the fear these students felt. It’s sad to know that people can become this crazy. Prayers to the students who went through this today, to those that lost their lives, and to the families who lost their loved ones. #floridaschoolshooting #PrayForParkland pic.twitter.com/CnboF9iOVK
— Iliana?? (@_ilianats) 2018年2月15日
U.S. President Donald Trump also reacted after the shooting on Twitter.
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) 2018年2月14日
“So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behaviour. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!” Trump also tweeted, focusing on Cruz’s mental health.
Trump also addressed the school shooting in a televised statement around noon on Thursday.
In times of tragedy, the bonds that sustain us are those of family, faith, community, and country. These bonds are stronger than the forces of hatred and evil – and these bonds grow even stronger in the hours of our greatest need. https://t.co/bu140nscez pic.twitter.com/OoTXMCSexB
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 2018年2月15日
Cruz made his first court appearance on Thursday. He was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.