Florida school shooting: Suspect is 18-year-old former student at school

Freshman student Samuel Dykes told the Orlando Sentinel that he was on the third floor of the school when he heard gunshots.

Tragedies like today's mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida might make you wonder how safe your kids are at school.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters students have been transported to the Marriott, a local hotel in Heron Bay. Israel says two other people died later under medical treatment.

Officials have identified Nicolas de Jesus Cruz, a former student at the school, as the main suspect. He said Cruz was checked out at a hospital after his arrest and is now being held at a secure location in a public building.

The suspect was found off campus and was taken into custody without incident. Israel said the suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas de Jesus Cruz, used an AR-15 rifle to spray bullets across the school.

The sheriff's office asked residents to avoid the area surrounding the high school.

There were scenes of students frantically running from the building and ambulance crews treating people outside the school on Wednesday afternoon. As he and his classmates went into lockdown in a classroom, many thought the noise might have been firecrackers. Let us all keep the victims in our hearts.

County school Superintendent Robert Runcie said that the shooter was enrolled in a school elsewhere in the district. It's a horrific situation. "It's just a awful day for us", said Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie.

Israel said police were waiting for the SWAT team to give them the all-clear so that they could go inside.

A Florida high school has been locked down after a shooting, USA authorities said.

Caesar Figueroa told CNN his daughter was hiding in a closet and texting her family.

Brittani later was able to escape the school.

The White House cancelled its planned daily briefing in the wake of the shooting, as President Donald Trump took to Twitter to offer his condolences. Counselors will also be available at an adjacent middle school, which will be open.

"My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the bad Florida shooting", U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter.

Between 2013 and 2015, 59 people were killed in shooting incidents at schools or colleges, according to the latest analysis from the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, a group that tracks gun violence.

He said: "I'm scared for the other parents here".

Vanessa Coleman