first_imgThe attack is the 18th shooting in the US this year on or around school premises. Since 2013, there have been 291 reported school shootings in the US. The much too often tragedy of a mass shooting on a US school campus reached South Florida on Ash Wednesday, turning the day into a Valentine Day massacre. The shooting occurred at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, northern Broward County, shortly before 2.30pm. When the shooting ended at the school of over 3,000 students, including Caribbean-Americans who reside in Parkland and neighboring Coral Springs 17 people were killed, and some 14 injured. The suspected shooter, a 19-year old former student, was apprehended and is in police custody. He has been identified as Nikolas Cruz, and charged with 17 counts of murder. Cruz is being held without bond. Up to press time the victims of this latest in several similar school shootings across the US had not been identified.Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been charged with 17 counts of murder and is being held without bond.Shock waves The shooting, and the large-number of victims, has sent shock waves throughout South Florida and the rest of the country, but particularly so in Parkland, a mostly upscale suburb, where according to a resident was “usually, quiet, lazy, and crime free.”Caribbean American Mikhail Rose, 28, said he was driving to his apartment complex on Westview Reid, about a mile east of the ill-fated high school ,when he noticed several police cars rushing by him with sirens blaring and lights flashing. “I immediately knew something was wrong because we hardly see police cars on patrol or hear police sirens blearing in this city. I am beyond shocked that so many people were killed” Highly reputed schoolAnother Caribbean-American resident, Leslie Trott said she and her family moved to Parkland three years ago “primarily because of the high-quality reputation of the city’s schools, especially the Marjory Stone Douglas High Schools. Students excelled in almost every area and it also had a reputation as being very safe and secure. That is until today.  I am saddened by the loss of life, but thank God my two kids were not affected.”Shooter was an expelled studentAccording to reports, Cruz was expelled from the school, and while there he bragged about the use of guns. The reports stated that he came to the school on Wednesday wearing a back-pack, and somehow got pass the school security, proceeded to pull the fire alarm and as the unsuspecting students rushed out of class rooms he opened fire.Weapon was AR-15 rifleThe Broward Sheriff’s Office said the shooter killed 17 teenagers and adults. with an assault rifle, an AR-15 equipped with multiple clips. Twelve victims were gunned-down inside buildings on the school’s campus, two on the school grounds, and another on nearby of Pine Island Road as he fled. Two victims later died in hospital.Unconfirmed reports said members of the school’s staff, including a teacher and a football coach were among those killed.An obviously saddened Robert Runcie, the Superintendent of the Broward School District appearing on TV on Wednesday afternoon, and addressing the shooting said, “This is a day that you pray every day when you get up that you will never have to see. It is in front of us. I ask the community for prayers and their support for the children and their families.” Runcie also announced that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High will be closed for the remainder of this week. Other county schools will, however, be opened for classes.As we rise this morning let us pray for the victims and families of this horrific tragedy that has fallen on our community. Let us find the courage to transcend fear, greed, hatred & divisions and collaborate to achieve a new level of consciousness to find real solutions …— Supt Runcie (@RobertwRuncie) February 15, 2018last_img

Teen charged with 17 counts of murder in deadly Broward school…

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