Posted: February 15, 2018
By Samantha Manning and Ken Tyndall, WFTV.com
PARKLAND, Fla. —
Flashing lights and police tape still blocked the area surrounding Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, hours after investigators said a gunman opened fire, killing 17 people.
In a student’s Snapchat video, the sound of gunfire can be heard inside a classroom as students cried and crouched under their desks.
“I was just praying. Praying to God it was not me,” said Trayvon Telfair, a sophomore at the school.
Telfair said he was in the freshman building and was feet away from the gunfire.
Broward County Sheriff says 12 of the 17 victims have been identified. They are in the process of identifying the rest @WFTV— Samantha Manning (@SamanthaWFTV) February 15, 2018
"One of the bullets came through the window and I just looked and everybody was in the room screaming. The teacher was telling them to be quiet," he said.
He was one of the dozens of students led out of the building by armed officers as they walked out with their hands above their heads.
Panic ensued as the school was put on lockdown.
Some students were led to safety, but other students had to remain barricaded in classrooms until police could reach them.
One student described waiting near the body of a teacher who had been shot.
“We saw his body for like 30 minutes. We were just praying and crying, and then the police came and we just got out,” said student Bruna Oliveda.
As students ran from the school, they described the chaos inside.
“We heard the pops and we were in the building at the back of the school,” said a student, who was not identified.
As students were led out of the school, some were told to keep their hands on the shoulders of the students in front of them and not to look to the side.
They were told to put their backpacks in a pile and move away.
Student Christina Vega said she never wants to step on campus again.
“I can’t go up the stairs. There were just trails of blood,” she said. “Our teacher, right in the corner, you can just see the bullet and like, blood on the wall. And then this kid on the other side."
The Broward County Sheriff's Office said the 17 victims include students and adults.
Investigators said the suspected gunman is former student 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.
He was taken into custody about 2 miles from the school.
School officials said Cruz had been expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons.
Investigators said Cruz had at least one rifle and numerous magazines of ammunition.
There is no known motive for the shooting.
School was canceled for the remainder of the week and multiple grief counselors will be available, officials said.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott told reporters Wednesday evening he can't imagine what the families of the victims are going through. He also said he would be visiting hospitalized survivors.
Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County also said at the news conference that families of the dead are being notified. He said 12 of the dead have been identified. He says not all victims were carrying identification and thus couldn't be quickly identified.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says the state will cover funeral expenses for the victims and counseling for survivors.
UPDATE, 5:19 a.m. EST Thursday: Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach and security guard at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has died after being wounded in a deadly mass shooting Wednesday, the team tweeted early Thursday.
“It is with great sadness that our football family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis,” the team wrote. “He was our assistant football coach and security guard. He selflessly shielded students from the shooter when he was shot. He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories.”
ORIGINAL STORY: An assistant football coach reportedly was shot while protecting students during a deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Aaron Feis is being celebrated as a hero, according to the Miami Herald, citing tributes to the coach and reports on social media.
Seventeen were killed and many more were injured in Wednesday's shooting. A gunman, whom police identified as 19-year-old former student Nikolas De Jesus Cruz, opened fire on students in the afternoon.
When the shooting started, Feis – a school security guard, as well – reportedly stepped between the shooter and students, taking bullets in the act. He was reportedly hospitalized in critical condition.
Douglas football player Charlie Rothkopf tweeted that his coach “took [several] bullets covering other students at Douglas.”
The Miami Herald reported that Feis is a 1999 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“He is a friend to all students that know him,” wrote Angelica Losada, who identified herself as a former student at the school. “Please, take a moment to send healing prayers for him.”
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said “a football coach” had died in the shooting. It is not clear if Israel was referring to Feis.
At least 17 people were killed in a high school shooting Wednesday afternoon in Parkland, Florida and more than a dozen others were injured, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
The lone gunman, identified as Nikolas Cruz, 19, was a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and was taken into custody without incident after the attack, Israel said.
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