At Least 17 Dead After Shooting At Florida High School

Feb 14, 2018
Originally published on February 14, 2018 9:43 pm
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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

And we are following a shooting at a high school in South Florida. It is Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the town of Parkland. That's northwest of Fort Lauderdale. The public school system says there are possible multiple injuries. For more details, we turn now to NPR's Greg Allen, who is following this from Miami. Hi, Greg.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Hi, Mary Louise.

KELLY: Start with what we know about the shooter. Is the shooter still at large? Are they in custody? What do we know?

ALLEN: It looks like at this point they have a suspect in custody. Students and police were describing a person. The person they picked up seems to fit that description. He was picked up some distance away from the campus by police. And they now have him in custody and are questioning him. So that looks like - at least for now, we think we have a - the potential shooter.

KELLY: OK. And walk us through what happened today, what time this started and how it unfolded.

ALLEN: Well, it was shortly before 3 p.m. today. There had been a - and this is Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as you mentioned, in Parkland, which is in Broward County near Fort Lauderdale. There had been a fire drill earlier today. And then this - what - students reported hearing what they sound - thought were balloons popping, being Valentine's Day. But then it turns out there were gunshots which started, we're told, in one classroom. Students were - took cover. Then police responded quickly.

We understand there could be as many as 20 people injured at this point. There is reports from the fire chief of Margate that there is one fatality. We're waiting to confirm all those numbers, but we'll know more as that goes forward. Police then escorted students from the buildings, searched them, had them come out with their hands up, left their book bags in the middle of the street while they could go through them. But after that, while that was all going on, then some distance away, they've apprehended this individual who is - they're holding as a suspect.

KELLY: OK, so I'll stress as we always do in these situations this is still unfolding. We - there are a lot of things, a lot of details we don't know at this point. The situation at the school, though, is under control. They've got kids, faculty evacuated at this point.

ALLEN: Right. And, you know, of course parents have gathered there. It sounds like not all the students are out of the school yet. There were - this - the shooting was concentrated in one three-story building where the freshman mostly were in. I believe that building has mostly been evacuated. And now police are going through the other classrooms, bringing the students out slowly, you know, checking them. And - but I believe they - what we think at this point is that it's no longer an active shooting scene.

KELLY: OK. The Miami Herald is reporting on this of course. And they are quoting local authorities who say they're treating this as a Level 3 mass casualty incident. What does that mean, Greg?

ALLEN: Right. That's to alert hospitals about what to expect. And we understand that means at least 20 injuries, so that's why we've been saying as many as 20 injuries. It suggests that could be that many. We're hearing reports from Broward General Hospital of four people being treated at that hospital. We don't know if there are more than that at other facilities in the area. So we - as you say, those numbers are very uncertain at this point. We'll know much more, you know, very shortly, I would think, on that score.

KELLY: All right, thank you, Greg.

ALLEN: You're welcome.

KELLY: That's NPR's Greg Allen in Miami reporting on a shooting at a high school in South Florida in the town of Parkland that occurred this afternoon. And we will be tracking that story all through the afternoon and evening. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.