Numerous people are reportedly dead and at least 14 injured after a shooter opened fire in a South Florida high school on Wednesday afternoon.
Police said a suspect is in custody.
The crime scene is “still active,” according to police.
A suspect is in custody following a shooting at a South Florida high school on Wednesday afternoon that officials say has resulted in “numerous fatalities.”
The Broward County Sheriff’s Department confirmed news of the arrest roughly two hours after Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, located just north of Fort Lauderdale, was placed on lockdown.
There are at least 14 victims confirmed so far, the sheriff’s department said.
Broward County Public School Superintendent Robert Runcie told local station WSVN 7 News there are “numerous fatalities” in the shooting, including a teacher or administrator. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) echoed that description to NBC News.
“It is a day that you pray every day you get up that you never have to see. It is in front of us,” Runcie said.
Video taken off campus showed authorities making an arrest just before 4 p.m. The sheriff’s department said the scene remains active.
Coral Springs Police had earlier tweeted that teachers and students should barricade themselves inside “until police reach you.
One unidentified student, speaking to local station WSVN, said he knows the suspect and that the young man had shown him photos of a gun collection he owned. The student described him as around 20 years old.
“It surprises me that this is going on today but it doesn’t shock me that it was him,” the student said. “He’s been a troubled kid and he’s always had a certain amount of issues going on.”
Another unidentified student, also speaking to WSVN, said people evacuated into a field after hearing a fire alarm go off. He added that he heard gunfire but didn’t think it was real.
“I didn’t think that it was actual gunfire. I thought that it was just kids popping balloons because it’s Valentine’s Day,” he said.
A female student, speaking to CBS Miami, said her drama teacher instructed them to hide in a closet after they heard gunshots. As many as 40 students were hiding in the closet, crying and without information about the shooter, the news outlet reported.
That student later reported that they had safely made it out.
Many parents had gathered near the school hoping to receive news about their children, Daily Beast reporter James LaPorta reported from the scene. Some of them formed prayers circles, supporting one another as they were waiting.
Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky told MSNBC that officials were working to secure the building.
“As you can imagine, our first responders are extremely busy doing their job now, so we have received very little firsthand information and have tried to stay back and allow them to their jobs,” Hunschofsky said.
“A tragedy can happen anywhere, anytime,” she added.
The school employs a full-time police officer, according to online records.
The number of school police officers increased sharply after the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. The officers are meant to help stop school shootings.
President Donald Trump has offered condolences to the families of the victims on Twitter, adding: “No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has also spoken out about the tragedy, posting on Twitter: “My thoughts and prayers are with the students, their families and the entire community. We will continue to receive briefings from law enforcement and issue updates.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.