PARKLAND, Fla. • A former student opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at a Florida high school Wednesday, killing at least 17 people and sending scores of students fleeing into the streets in the nation’s deadliest school shooting since a gunman attacked Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
The shooter, who was equipped with a gas mask, smoke grenades, an AR-15 rifle and multiple magazines, set off a fire alarm to draw students out of their classrooms shortly before the school day ended at one of the state’s largest schools, officials said.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed the number of deaths in the shooting shortly before dismissal at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the affluent suburb of Parkland, about 15 miles northwest of downtown Fort Lauderdale.
At least 17 people have been taken to area hospitals, said Dr. Evan Boyar of Broward Health, according to CNN. None of the victims have been identified by officials.