BREAKING NEWS: Parents and students describe scene of chaos, fear at school shooting in South Florida
Published 4:05 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2018
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on a shooting at a Florida high school (all times local):
Parents described a chaotic and frightening situation as they rushed to find their children in the frantic minutes after reports of a shooting at a South Florida high school began to spread.
Caesar Figueroa says he was one of the first parents to arrive at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. He says he saw police officers bringing out big weapons as they approached the school.
Figueroa’s office is only five minutes from the school where he sends his 16-year-old daughter.
“My wife called me that there was an active shooter and the school was on lockdown. I got on the road and saw helicopters, police with machine guns. It was crazy and my daughter wasn’t answering her phone.”
According to Figueroa, she texted him that she was hidden inside a closet at school with friends: “She was in a classroom and she heard gunshots by the window. She and her friends ran into the closet.”
Another parent, Beth Feingold, says her daughter sent a text at 2:32 p.m. saying “We’re on code red. I’m fine.” But she then sent another text soon afterward saying, “Mom, I’m so scared.” The girl was later able to escape the school unharmed.
A school official says there are numerous fatalities from the high school shooting in South Florida.
Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie sayid Wednesday afternoon: “There are numerous fatalities. It is a horrific situation.” He added, “It is a horrible day for us.”
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office tweeted Wednesday afternoon that “so far we have at least 14 victims.” The tweet added: “Victims have been and continue to be transported to Broward Health Medical Center and Broward Health North hospital.”
The sheriff’s statement didn’t elaborate on the victims or the extent of their injuries.
The White House has canceled its daily press briefing after a Florida high school shooting that sent students rushing into the streets.
President Donald Trump has spoken with Florida Gov. Rick Scott about the shooting. He says in a tweet that the White House is “working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting.”
He earlier tweeted his condolences to the families of the victims.
Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump has offered Florida federal assistance, if needed. The homeland security secretary has also been in touch with state and local officials.
Sanders says, “We continue to keep the victims, and their friends and family, in our thoughts and prayers.”
Authorities say the shooter at a South Florida high school is now in custody.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office gave no details in briefly tweeting that development. It did not identify the shooting suspect nor say how the person was taken into custody.
Television footage showed police putting a person in the back of a police car outside the high school.
Parent John Obin says his son, a freshman at the South Florida high school where the shooting erupted, says his child was in class when he heard several shots. The father says his son advised that teachers quickly rushed students out of the school. He adds the boy told his father that he walked by two people on the ground motionless — and apparently dead — as students rushed outside.
“This is a really good school, and now it’s like a war zone,” Obin said
Coral Springs Police said on their Twitter account Wednesday that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was locked down and that students and teachers inside should remain barricaded until police reach them.
Outside, televised news footage showed two people on stretchers and another person being treated on the ground at an intersection near the scene of the school. Paramedics were treating those who appeared to be students with injuries, but it wasn’t clear how they were hurt. A few students were loaded into ambulances.
One unidentified student told a reporter at the scene that at first students thought it was a fire drill because they had heard fire alarms going off.
The shooting at a South Florida high school sent students rushing into the streets as SWAT team members swarmed in and locked down the building. Police were warning that the shooter was still at large even as ambulances converged on the scene and emergency workers appeared to be treating those possibly wounded.
Aerial television news footage showed police in olive fatigues, with weapons drawn, entering the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Then dozens of students could be seen frantically running and others quickly walking out. A police officer waved the students on, urging them to quickly evacuate the school.
Some students exited the building in single-file rows with hands raised overhead to show they carried no weapons. Others held onto other students as they made their way out past helmeted police in camouflage with weapons drawn.
Emergency medical personnel pulled stretchers from the backs of ambulances as police cars surrounded the parking lot. At least one person was seen being wheeled to the ambulance on a gurney. It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were wounded.
Len Murray’s 17-year-old son, a junior at the South Florida high school where shooting was reported, sent his parents a chilling text: “Mom and Dad, there have been shots fired on campus at school. There are police sirens outside. I’m in the auditorium and the doors are locked.”
Those words came at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. A few minutes later, he texted again: “I’m fine.”
Murray raced to the school only to be stopped by authorities under a highway overpass within view of the school buildings in Parkland.
No information was immediately given to parents, Len Murray says. And he says he remained worried for all those inside.
“I’m scared for the other parents here. You can see the concern in everybody’s faces. Everybody is asking, ‘Have you hard from your child yet?'”
Authorities say a shooter at a Florida high school is still at large.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office shared the information on its Twitter account after Wednesday afternoon’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were wounded.
Authorities say they’re responding to a shooting at a Florida high school.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office has told news outlets the shooting occurred Wednesday afternoon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were wounded.