PARKLAND (CBS Miami) — A suspected shooter is in custody and at least 17 people are dead in a fatal mass-shooting incident at a Florida high school Wednesday, according to authorities.
CBS Miami reported that the shooting incident happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, about an hour north of Miami.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the suspected shooter has been taken into custody and at least 17 people were killed in the shooting with an additional 14 people injured.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said 12 people died inside the school, 2 died outside of the school, 1 person died on the corner near the school and 2 people died at hospital.
A senior official said the shooter, a former student, used a rifle but may have also had a handgun.
“From what I understand, there was a time where he did attend the school. He got expelled for disciplinary reasons,” said Israel while giving an update Wednesday evening.
At last check, medical examiners were still walking through the building, looking for anyone else, said Broward Mayor Beam Furr, who was a teacher for 25 years.
“It’s catastrophic, there really are no words,” said Israel.
The suspected shooter, identified as Nikolas Cruz, 19, is in custody.
Cruz used an AR-15 rifle and had multiple magazines on him, Israel said.
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) said the shooter had a gas mask on, pulled the fire alarm then used smoke grenades as students ran out. As for where the suspected gunman might have gotten the weapons, Nelson said “I have no idea.”
“He always had guns on him and stuff like that,” said a student who knew Cruz. “He was a little bit of a troubled kid.”
The student said nobody in the school would pick on him.
A male that fit the description of the suspect was seen being taken into custody, CBS News’ Jeff Pegues reports. He was later transported to the hospital and seen being wheeled into the facility on a gurney.
Broward County Schools superintendent Robert Runcie said there were numerous fatalities, but couldn’t confirm the number. He called it a “horrific situation.”
A number of people could be seen being loaded into ambulances on a stretcher.
CBS4’s Rick Folbaum communicated over text message with a student at the school who is hiding in a closet.
“All of a sudden there was a really loud noise…..people are crying the closet,” the student wrote to him.
More disturbing video shot inside the school during the incident surfaced Wednesday afternoon that showed students sitting on the floor in a classroom and screaming as shot can be heard ringing out outside.
A student shared a picture as they took cover.
President Donald Trump has been made aware of the school shooting.
“We are monitoring the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected,” wrote White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement on the shooting.
Parents of students, were asked to go to the Marriott Heron Bay located at 11775 Heron Bay Blvd in Coral Springs. As of 5 p.m., parents were being allowed in to be reunited with their kids.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will be closed Thursday and Friday. The rest of the Broward Schools will be open.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI are taking part in the investigation.
The motive for this shooting is unclear at this time.