A student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where suspected killer Nikolas Cruz allegedly gunned down 17 people during a mass shooting Wednesday, captured cellphone footage of the moment a local SWAT team entered one of the school’s classrooms.
“In the video, students can be seen sitting at their desks when suddenly, a group of SWAT officers rush into the room with guns drawn,” Miami station WFOR reported hours after the shooting. “The students are told to put their hands up and quickly comply. Some had shaking arms and hands while others can be heard almost crying as the situation unfolds.”
The officers then told the kids to put their phones away, at which point the recording ended.
The footage, which some may find uncomfortable to watch, may be viewed here. The tension and fear from the images is almost palpable.
According to St. Petersburg station WTSP, the shooting at the Parkland, Florida-based high school began “at about 2 p.m., close to the school’s dismissal time.”
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office broke the news of an “active shooter” roughly 50 minutes later via Twitter:
By 3:30 pm, Florida Gov. Rick Scott had been briefed on the shooting and the FBI called in to assist as well, though at the time the shooter still reportedly remained at large.
The suspected shooter, a troubled 19-year-old former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, was apprehended about an hour later:
As of Thursday morning, much still remained unknown about both the victims of this tragic shooting and the motive for Cruz’s alleged actions.
Moreover, Cruz’s digital profile contained what Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel described as “very, very disturbing” content, including comments on YouTube of him reportedly professing to wanting to “shoot people with my AR-15” and “kill law enforcement.”
Cruz’s family life was equally troubled, it appears, due in part to the death of his father more than a decade ago and death of his mother last year.
“His mother had died back in November of last year, and this family took him in,” said Jim Lewis, the unnamed family’s attorney. “They offered him a home and tried to help the kid out because he really didn’t have any other place to stay.”
Reports had also surfaced that Cruz was fascinated by firearms and followed “Syrian resistance groups” on social media, as reported by The Daily Caller.
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