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17 people killed in Florida high school mass shooting, attacker is former high school student

The entire state of Florida mourns the death of seventeen students who were killed in a mass shooting at a Broward County high school. The shooting took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School around dismissal time on Wednesday.  

The gunman who opened the fire is identified as Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student of the same school. He had previously been expelled multiple times for disciplinary reasons. According to the students, they thought they were having another drill when the alarm sounded and most teachers allowed them to leave the classrooms. As soon as the students left the rooms, Cruz began firing outside of the school and then he went in. After the shooting, he managed to leave the school by blending with other students who were trying to escape. Cruz is in custody and he was charged with 17 counts of murder.

Law enforcement bodies believe Cruz used AR-15-style weapon which he purchased a year ago. According to the police report, his brother and he were both adopted and when their adopted parents died, Cruz went to live with a friend’s family.

The Republic of Florida, a white nationalist militia group, claimed that Cruz was involved in some of its activities, particularly, he attended the group’s paramilitary drills in Tallahassee. Jordan Jereb, a leader with the group told The Daily Beast that Cruz had “trouble with a girl” and this could have been linked to carrying out an attack on Valentine’s Day. He also added sadly that Cruz’s training with the group helped him to do the massacre.

Florida authorities have created a GoFundMe page, addressing the public to help the families of victims and survivors. National blood banks are organizing blood drives for anyone in Parkland area.