CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Coral Springs has reverberated across the nation.
The shooting Wednesday afternoon, in which in which 17 people were killed and 14 others were injured, attracted the attention of the Oval Office.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2018
Just spoke to Governor Rick Scott. We are working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2018
Governor Rick Scott put out a statement that he was on his way to South Florida to be briefed by emergency management officials and law enforcement.
“Immediately upon learning of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Governor Scott spoke with President Trump, law enforcement, school officials and the Department of Homeland Security,” according to a statement from his office.
Senator Bill Nelson tweeted that he was monitoring the situation from Washington D.C.
Praying for everyone at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Just spoke with Broward Undersheriff to ensure they have everything they need. And just spoke to FBI to make sure all federal resources are being made available to help. Will continue to monitor closely.
— Bill Nelson (@SenBillNelson) February 14, 2018
Just after 7:30 p.m. he appeared on CBS4 News with an update on the gunman and the shooting.
“The gunman was wearing a gas mask and had smoke grenades. He then went and activated the alarm system and that caused the students to come out of the classrooms and, of course, that put them in this bunched up situation and with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, and a bunch of clips, you can imagine the carnage that he wrought,” said Nelson.
Nelson said he wanted the families of the injured and dead to know they are not alone.
“We are grieving with you. This was a premeditated murder on the part of the gunman, with all the preparations that he went through, he may or may not have a mental problem. When we would look back, at just in Florida, remember we had the killings at the Ft. Lauderdale airport, remember a couple of years ago we had the Pulse nightclub shooting, and that’s 49 of our citizens taken, and that’s just Florida in recent history,” he said.
Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that he was also being kept updated on the situation by law enforcement.
Just finished update from fed authorities on #FloridaSchoolShooting. It is clear attack was designed & executed to maximize loss of life
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 15, 2018
Rubio said he found out about the news the same way most parents did, by a news report.
“We got a call shortly before 3 o’clock from law enforcement agencies that this was a real situation and they were evaluating what the situation was at the time,” Rubio said. “By 3:30 it was pretty apparent that this was a serious incident and that it involved a large number of people that had been injured and potentially killed.
“We knew that once the police got into the building, they suspected they would find more victims particularly because of the amount of time it took to get in there.”
The senator added that while some of the most important questions that have yet to be answered, the fact that authorities took the suspect into custody alive gives them the opportunity to obtain some of that vital information.
“Unlike some of the other school shootings that we’ve seen over the last few years or even decades, this is one of the few where the assailant is actually in custody,” Rubio said. “So they’re gonna have an opportunity to interview this person and gain information and learn more about the motive behind it, and of course the method too. How did this happen and why did it happen? Those are two important questions.”
Rubio said that ATR is running traces on the weapon used in the shooting. They want to learn how the suspect obtained the weapon, as well as the ammunition.
“This individual used not lethal weaponry but used some other tactics and methods that I’ll leave to law enforcement to announce but he possessed some other gear that was indicative of someone who was trying to maximize the loss of life.”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz tweeted that her heart went out to the students.
I am closely monitoring the developing situation at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County. The victims are weighing heavy in my heart as is the courage of the first responders on the scene. This senseless violence must end.
— Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) February 14, 2018
The congresswoman also issued a statement which read in part:
“As a Broward County resident for nearly 30 years and an elected official for most of that time, my heart breaks for the victims, their families, friends, and loved ones. As a parent of a Broward County high school student, and as someone with friends whose children attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it is gut wrenching that another senseless school shooting has occurred, this time in our community.
In the United States of America, it is simply unacceptable that we allow children to run for their lives with their backpacks on. Unacceptable that we allow parents to fear for the worst while they wait to hear back from their kids, and unacceptable that we allow survivors of school shootings to live with a trauma that can never be explained away.
I stand with my community and our families and ask all Americans to keep the parents, siblings, spouses and loved ones in their prayers this evening.”
The Broward Sheriff’s Office took one person into custody. He’s been identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student of the school who had reportedly threatened students in the past.