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Florida school shooting: Video shows students hiding in class, yelling ‘oh my god’ as gunman opens fire

Media reports said the gunman Nikolas Cruz tried to blend in with the students who were fleeing the Florida high school but was spotted and taken into custody.

world Updated: Feb 15, 2018 13:22 IST
People are brought out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting in Parkland, Florida.
People are brought out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting in Parkland, Florida. (AFP Photo)

Television footage showed images of bewildered students streaming out of the Florida high school where a 19-year-old gunman opened fire with an assault rifle, killing 17 people on Wednesday.

In pictures that have become increasingly familiar in America, students were seen coming out of the school with their hands raised in the air, weaving their way through heavily-armed and helmeted police officers as emergency vehicles idled nearby.

Another chilling cell phone video clip broadcast by CBS News showed a brief scene of what the network said was the shooting in progress from inside a classroom, where several students were seen huddled or lying on the floor surrounded by mostly empty desks. A rapid series of loud gunshots are heard amid hysterical screaming and someone yelling, “Oh my God.”

One survivor, Kyle Yeoward (16), a junior, told Reuters he and about 15 fellow students and a teacher hid in a closet for nearly two hours before police arrived. Yeoward said most of the shooting occurred in the building for the school’s freshman class.

Anguished parents checked on their children.

The gunman -- identified as a former student Nikolas Cruz who was expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland -- was arrested later outside, some distance from the school in an adjacent community.

A man placed in handcuffs is led by police near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School following a shooting incident in Parkland, Florida. (Reuters Photo)

CNN, citing law enforcement sources, said Cruz tried to blend in with the students who were fleeing the school but was spotted and taken into custody.

The gunman surrendered to police without a struggle, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a news briefing hours later. He was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and had multiple magazines of ammunition.

“It is just absolutely horrifying. I can’t believe this is happening,” Lissette Rozenblat, whose daughter goes to the school, told CNN. Her daughter called her to say she was safe but had heard the cries of a person who was shot.

Twelve of the dead were killed inside the school, two others just outside, one more on the street and two other victims died from their wounds at a hospital, Israel said. He said the victims comprised a mixture of students and adults.

The Valentine’s Day bloodshed in the racially diverse Miami suburb of gated communities with palm- and shrub-lined streets was the latest outbreak of gun violence that has become a regular occurrence at schools and college campuses across the United States over the past several years.

It was the 18th shooting in a US school so far this year, according to gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety. That tally includes suicides and non-injury incidents, as well as a January shooting in which a 15-year-old gunman killed two fellow students at a Kentucky, high school.