Florida school shooting: at least 17 shot dead by former pupil

Florida school shooting: at least 17 shot dead by former pupil, by Cameron Stewart.

Former fellow pupils of the gunman responsible for the massacre at a Florida school today say they predicted he would carry out a mass shooting.

At least 17 people were killed when Nikolaus de Jesus Cruz opened fire at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, south Florida in the third deadliest school shooting in US history.

Mr Cruz, 19, who had a history of threatening other pupils, is in custody after committing the “horrific, homicidal, detestable act,” said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, confirming the death toll.

“We have already begun to dissect his websites and things on social media that he was on and some of the things… are very, very disturbing,” Sheriff Israel said.

“He had countless magazines, multiple magazines, and at this point, we believe he had one AR-15 rifle,” the sheriff added.

Mr Cruz, who had been expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons, had been the subject of jokes from his fellow pupils. One student told WFOR-TV that other students “knew it was going to be him.”

“A lot of people were saying it was going to be him. A lot of kids threw jokes around saying that he was going to be the one to shoot up the school,” the student said. “It turns out that everyone predicted it. That’s crazy.” …

Since January 2013, “there have been at least 283 school shootings across the country — which averages out to one school shooting a week,” according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit group that advocates for gun control.