Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Celebrities call for tighter gun controls following Florida school shooting

Celebrities call for tighter gun controls following Florida school shooting

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel identified the gunman as Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland who had been expelled for "disciplinary reasons", but was now enrolled in Broward County Public Schools.

A gunman, whom police identified as 19-year-old former student Nikolas De Jesus Cruz, opened fire on students in the afternoon.

The deadly gun rampage at a Florida high school on Wednesday took to 18 the number of school shootings across the United States so far this year - a phenomenon that authorities seem powerless to prevent.

Reacting to the shootings U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter, "my prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the awful Florida shooting".

Some students, fearing their lives would soon be over, texted goodbyes to loved ones; others used their phones to share startling footage of the carnage on social media.

"But then word started going around that it was shots and not just, like, something else, everyone just started running towards the canal", the student said. Melissa Falkowski returned to a classroom and hid in a closet with 19 students from her newspaper class for almost 40 minutes.

When Melissa Falkowski heard there was an active shooter on campus, her instincts kicked in. And yet, it didn't save enough.

In an evening press conference, Sheriff Scott Israel said 12 victims had been identified from the school, including an American football coach.

"We did everything that we were supposed to do".

"My very own triplets went to that school". He said he was relieved when he finally found his mother. As he and his classmates went into lockdown, many thought the noise might have been firecrackers.

"I was happy that I was alive", Max said. The public high school has an enrollment of 3,158 students and serves grades ninth through 12th. Some walked calmly with their hands up while others ran. He also said he would be visiting hospitalized survivors.

Twelve of the dead were killed inside the school, two others just outside, one more on the street and two other victims died of their injuries at a hospital, police said.

People are brought out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a deadly shooting.

As news of the shooting spread, desperate parents gathered near the property searching for their children.

NBC 6 spoke to the older brother of one student, who said his sister, a sophomore, was safe but "trembling in shock" at the scene unfolding at her high school.

Parkland, with a population of 31,000 people in 2016, was named Florida's safest city a year ago, according to an analysis by the Washington-based National Council for Home Safety and Security, a home security industry trade association. The south Florida city had seven reported violent crimes and 186 property crimes the previous year, the analysis said.

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