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Accused Florida high school gunman charged with 17 murders

From Reuters - February 15, 2018

PARKLAND, Fla. (Reuters) - A 19-year-old man who had been expelled from his Florida high school was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder on Thursday, after authorities say he unleashed one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

The ex-student, identified as Nikolas Cruz walked into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday and opened fire on students and teachers, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said. Police believe he acted alone.

Cruz was expected to appear in court Thursday afternoon for a bond hearing, said Constance Simmons, a spokeswoman for the state attorneys office.

Cruz was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and had multiple ammunition magazines when he surrendered to officers in a nearby residential area, police said. He loved guns and was expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons, police and former classmates said.

The shooting in a community about 45 miles (72 km) north of Miami was the 18th in a U.S. school this year, according to gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety, continuing a troubling pattern that has played out over the past few years.

It was the second deadliest shooting in a U.S. public school after the 2012 massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

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The deadliest school shooting in U.S. history was at Virginia Tech in 2007, when 32 people were killed.

This community is hurting right now, Israel told a press conference on Thursday. We will interview every single student and every person in that school who possibly might know something.

The Florida shooting stirred the long-simmering U.S. debate on the right to bear arms, which are protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Schools across the country have installed electronically secured doors and added security staff, but few legislative solutions have emerged.

So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Thursday. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!

Trump plans to address the nation from the White House at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT), a spokeswoman said.

FBI WAS TIPPED

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