What we know so far about the Florida school shooting suspect

What we know so far about the Florida school shooting suspect

Thursday, President Donald Trump issued a presidential proclamation to honor the victims - ordering all flags at the White House, public buildings nationwide and US military installations around the world to be flown at half-staff.

Authorities arrested 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who was expelled from Marjory Stoneman over disciplinary problems, in the aftermath of what has become the deadliest school shooting since an attack on an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.

The high school is a sprawling complex set on a tract in the South Florida community of Parkland, about 45 miles north of downtown Miami.

President Donald Trump says in the wake of the Florida school shooting, his administration will tackle what he's calling "the hard issue of mental health".

Trump said students are, in part, responsible for reporting classmates to the authorities.

In a televised address to the nation on Thursday, Trump reiterated his "deepest sympathies", and said he's making plans to visit Parkland and meet with families affected by the mass shooting.

Democrats have said the shooting underscores the need for tougher gun laws, but Trump did not mention the issue in his brief address, delivered from the White House.

Israel said Cruz entered the school on Wednesday afternoon with one AR-15 rifle and multiple magazines. He said Cruz would regularly talk about shooting rats with a BB gun and was part of a very small group of friends.

"He told me how he got kicked out of two private schools".

Chad Williams said he spotted Cruz at the high school in a chance meeting, and realised he was carrying several publications about guns. Cruz was a well-known weapons enthusiast, the student said, who once tried to sell knives to a classmate.

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The official said advisors are discussing the possibility that Trump will visit the Broward County area when he goes to his private Mar-a-Lago resort this weekend.

Police said they were met with "hundreds of students fleeing the school" when they responded to reports of the attack.

17 people have been killed, and 5 more critically injured.

The school had just over 3,100 students in the 2016-2017 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Broward County Mayor Beam Furr said during an interview with CNN that the shooter was getting treatment at a mental health clinic for a while, but that he hadn't been back to the clinic for more than a year.

Weighing in at 5-foot-7 and 131 pounds and wearing a hospital gown after being treated for labored breathing, he was ordered held without bond and booked into jail.

At one point, the former student had been listed by school administrators as a potential threat - particularly if he was carrying a backpack on campus.

"I think everyone had in their minds if anybody was going to do it, it was going to be him", she said.

Sheriff Israel said: "If a person is predisposed to commit such a horrific event by going to a school and shooting people. there's not anybody or not a lot law enforcement can do about it".

"The people next door to us must have not locked their door", 14-year-old Hannah Siren said.

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