At least 17 people were killed in a shooting in a South Florida high school on Wednesday, The Hill reported.
“I’m saddened to say that 17 people lost their lives,” the county’s sheriff said in a tweet.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel stated that the shooter was a former student at the school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which is located about 30 miles from Fort Lauderdale.
“From what I understand there was a time where he did attend this school. I don’t know why he left,” Israel told reporters.
The shooter is 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz who has been flagged as a potential threat to fellow students in the past. After the shooting, Cruz was taken to Broward Health North in Pompano Beach, about 13 miles from the high school, and was later released from police custody, Boyard said.
According to The Hill, President Trump said he has been in ongoing contact with Florida officials since the shooting was first reported mid-afternoon. Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio said they both were in contact with the school’s superintendent in the wake of the shooting.
“This is a bad day for Florida and for the country,” Nelson said.
“Today is that terrible day you pray never comes,” Rubio wrote on Twitter.
The White House also canceled its daily press briefing, citing the shooting.
“In light of this tragedy there will not be a regularly scheduled briefing as previously announced,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. “Department of Homeland Security Secretary [Kirstjen] Nielsen also spoke with Gov. Scott, as well as state and local officials. She has briefed the president on those conversations. The governor, the secretary and other administration officials will continue to keep the president updated.”
The high school will be closed on Thursday and Friday, and all official events will be canceled.