Jamaica Gleaner / PARKLAND, Florida (AP):

Former student 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at a Parkland, Florida, high school in the United States yesterday, killing at least 17 persons and sending scores of students fleeing into the streets in the nation’s deadliest school shooting since a gunman attacked an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said that Cruz was arrested after the attack and checked out at a hospital before being taken to a secure location in an unspecified public building.

Frantic parents rushed to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to find SWAT team members and ambulances surrounding the campus as classes prepared to dismiss for the day. Live footage showed emergency workers who appeared to be treating the wounded on sidewalks.

“It is a horrific situation,” said Robert Runcie, superintendent of the school district in Parkland, about an hour’s drive north of Miami. “It is a horrible day for us.”

Israel said that the suspect, who was previously expelled for disciplinary reasons, had at least one rifle and multiple magazines.

“It’s catastrophic. There really are no words,” Israel said on Twitter.

Most of the fatalities were inside the building, though some victims were found fatally shot outside, the sheriff said.

In a cul-de-sac near the school, Michael Nembhard was sitting in his garage when he saw a young man in a burgundy shirt walking down the street. In an instant, a police cruiser pulled up and officers jumped out with guns drawn.

“All I heard was ‘Get on the ground! Get on the ground!'” Nembhard said. He said that he could not see the suspect’s face, but that the man got on the ground without incident.

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