By Julie Broch
In the city of Parkland, Florida, a school shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, leaving seventeen dead and fourteen others injured. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, this is the eighteenth school shooting to take place in America in 2018.
The suspect’s name is 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who was arrested approximately an hour after the shooting in Coral Springs, a mile away from the school. Cruz previously attended the school but was expelled for disciplinary reasons and showed many signs of being mentally disturbed, including multiple calls to the police from his mother to report his violent and erratic behavior.
As shots were fired, students could be seen fleeing from the building. After firing into the hallways and four classrooms, Cruz attempted to shoot at the stream of students exiting the building from the third floor. However, the window remained intact, which likely prevented further deaths. He then dropped his weapon, an AR-15-style rifle, and ran out the building, escaping by blending in amongst the terrified students that feared for their lives.
After the shooting, the students of Stoneman Douglas High School turned to social media to rally for gun control, confused as to how Cruz was able to pass the background check and purchase the firearm legally despite his mental illness. The students want this tragic event to motivate the government to take action and establish laws that will hopefully make this the last school shooting.