The Tragedy of Douglas High School: Florida’s School Shooting

Nicolas Cruz, a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, rampaged through the school on February 14, shortly before 3pm, shooting and killing many students. At least 16 are dead, with another 14 taken to hospitals to be treated for severe wounds.

 

Nicolas was taken into custody soon after the shooting began, with police responding right away to the reports of shootings at the school. Trump also responded quickly, calling the victim’s families, and taking to 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.” He also stated, while working with Florida officials, “Just spoke to Governor Rick Scott. We are working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting.”

 

There have been many reports from students that were at the school during the time of the shooting, including Freshman, Kayden Hanafi. He heard two gunshots, and saw students running out of a neighboring building, as his classroom went on lockdown. Many speculated the noise might’ve been firecrackers. “It’s really a blessing to still be alive.” He stated. Eager parents awaited outside of the school, around 3pm, to embrace their loved ones and hear the terrible news.

 

Another student, Nicole Baltzer, an 18 year old senior, told her of account. She sat in trigonometry class, about ten minutes before the school day ended, when the fire alarm sounded. Six gunshots rang through the school, as many students ran back inside during the confusion. “I heard so many gunshots, at least like six. They were very close,” Baltzer said. An officer told her to close her eyes as she walked past a room with shattered windows, saying, “There’s nothing good to see in there.”

 

Superintendent Runcie spoke with reporters, “We received no warnings. Potentially there could have been signs out there. But we didn’t have any warning or phone calls or threats that were made.” Jim gard, a math teacher, said Nicholas was in his class last year and that he was problematic, making threats against other students, “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus. We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him.” The teachers had been emailed in the past, saying Nicholas was not allowed on campus with a backpack, and that he could be a threat.

 

Another student, who knew Nicholas, said in an interview with WSVN-7, that Nicholas said he had guns at home, and talked often about using them. Despite this knowledge of the threat, the 19-year old ex-student was never publicly proclaimed to be a potential suspect.

 

The school had undergone a test fire drill earlier that day, so many students were confused when the actual alarm sounded. The attack was quite surprising, since Parkland was named the safest city in Florida, last year. According to a 2016 analysis, the high school had an enrollment of about 3,000 students at that time.

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