The United States endured its 18th school shooting so far in 2018, as deranged Nikolas Cruz shot up his former high school, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida. Cruz, 19, was a former student at the school. During his time at Douglas, Cruz repeatedly threatened other students and was subsequently banned from using a backpack while on campus. He also had anger management issues and constantly joked about shooting up establishments. Cruz was finally expelled from the school after getting into a fight with his former girlfriend’s boyfriend.
The Douglas High School shooting has been the deadliest high school shooting in modern American history, as its number of victims surpassed that of Columbine’s back in 1999. According to police reports, seventeen students lost their lives and an additional fourteen more were hospitalized.
The attack began close to the end of the school day, when Cruz pulled down a fire alarm. He was armed with a .223 AR-15 style rifle and several magazines filled with bullets. The school administration immediately enacted a “code red” lockdown after the first gunshots were heard on campus. Cruz managed to flee the school along with some students, blending in with them before being detained nearly an hour later close to Coral Springs, Florida.
The perpetrator has already been charged with seventeen counts of murder and his trial is set to begin later this month. If convicted, it is possible he will receive the death penalty.
Both President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Rick Scott offered their condolences, thoughts, and prayers to the victims of the attack, with the president writing that “no child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school”.