On February 14, the local public school district tweeted that “students and staff heard what sounded like gunfire” just before the end of the day at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The attack began at 14:30 local time.
Witnesses said that the suspect set off a fire alarm before the violence erupted.
Police and SWAT team members swarmed the campus and began clearing students from the school in Parkland, about an hour north of Miami, as parents and ambulances converged on the scene.
Nikolas Cruz, who had been expelled for “disciplinary reasons”, was taken into custody without incident in the nearby town of Coral Springs about an hour after he left the high school, according to police.
Sheriff Scott Israel said: “We have already begun to dissect his websites and things on social media that he was on and some of the things… are very, very disturbing.”
“Just a horrible day for us,” said Robert Runcie, the superintendent of the county’s school district.
The school has nearly 3,000 students. Classes are cancelled for the rest of this week.
Many students said they thought it was a drill because a fire alarm practice had taken place shortly before the shooting.
Since 2013, there have been 291 reported school shootings in America, which averages out to about one per week.
This is the worst shooting since 2012, when gunman Adam Lanza attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He shot dead 20 young children and six adults before killing himself.
Esteban Santiago, who is suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport, has been charged by prosecutors.
The 26-year-old is accused of opening fire at the airport’s Terminal 2, killing five people and injuring six others.
Esteban Santiago is charged with carrying out an act of violence at an international airport resulting in death, which carries a maximum punishment of execution.
He also faces lesser weapons charges.
Esteban Santiago, who is in custody, told agents he had planned the attack and bought a one-way ticket to Fort Lauderdale, according to court papers.
Authorities said they did not know why he chose this target and that terrorism had not been ruled out.
Image source Anchorage Police
US Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said: “Today’s charges represent the gravity of the situation and reflect the commitment of federal, state and local law enforcement personnel to continually protect the community and prosecute those who target our residents and visitors.”
Esteban Santiago is said to have used a semi-automatic handgun that he apparently legally checked on a flight from Alaska.
Officials were also looking whether mental health problems played a role after it emerged that the suspect had been referred for a health assessment by the FBI.
Two months ago, Esteban Santiago walked into an FBI office in Alaska in an agitated and incoherent state, the FBI and Anchorage police said.
The man was carrying a loaded magazine but had left his handgun in his car, with his newborn child.
During the later mental health evaluation, Esteban Santiago told the FBI he was hearing voices and believed he was being controlled by a US intelligence agency.
His gun was confiscated but the authorities found no wrongdoing, and it was returned in December. It is not clear if this is the same gun that he is accused of using in the attack at the airport baggage claim area.
The suspect is a former member of the Puerto Rico and Alaska National Guard, according to the Pentagon.
Esteban Santiago served in Iraq from April 2010 to February 2011, and ended his service in August 2016.
At least 5 people have been shot dead and other eight injured after a gunman opened fire at Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida, say officials.
The shooting happened at the baggage claim area in Terminal 2, just before 13:00 local time, the airport confirmed.
Hundreds of passengers were standing on the tarmac outside the terminal as dozens of police cars and ambulances rushed to the scene.
One of the first reports of the incident came from former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who said in a tweet: “I’m at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Shots have been fired. Everyone is running.”
A witness told MSNBC that the shooter was a “slender man’ who was wearing a Star Wars T-shirt.
The gunman, who appeared to be in his 20s, did not speak before or during the attack, John Schlicher said.
Image source NBC
He added that his mother-in-law administered first aid to someone who had been shot in the head.
Florida Senator Bill Nelson told US media that the gunman has been identified as Esteban Santiago, but that has not been confirmed by law enforcement.
A man in handcuffs was seen being escorted away from the airport by police nearly two hours after the shooting was first reported.
Mobile phone footage from the scene showed police officers frisking passengers and uniformed Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers.
A Miami TV station tweeted footage claiming to be filmed from inside the baggage terminal.
The video shows several injured people laying on the floor, as witnesses shout for medical help.
The attacker was arrested without any shots fired, said Sheriff Scott Israel.
“People were scared and frantically running to avoid being shot. People were tripping over each other. They were trying to make a fast exit out of the door.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott is travelling to the airport to be briefed by police.
Federal aviation authorities issued a “ground stop” notice, barring flights from leaving or entering the airport.
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