A student shared her experience inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during what is being called the deadliest mass shooting in Broward County Schools history.
According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz was taken into custody as several victims were transported to Broward North in Deerfield Beach and Broward Health Medical Center. 17 people were killed during the school shooting.
Alex, a student, told 7 News Miami she was in her classroom as the gunman walked past. She said that her teacher did not make it out.
“We heard the fire alarm for the second time that day, which was weird,” she said. “We left the classroom, which [my teacher] locked the door, so we could leave, and when people were halfway down the stairwell, it just stopped. The alarm stopped, and we heard gunshots coming from the first floor, the second floor. People were running upstairs. We all got upstairs and into the classroom, and when he tried to unlock the door, me and a couple other people ran in, and as he was closing the door, he was actually shot and killed right there.”
Alex said she and other students watched as the gunman walked past.
“The door was left open the whole time, so as [the gunman] walked by, the door was open,” Alex said. “He could have walked in at any time. We just had to be as quiet as possible.”
Cristina Vega, another student, said she was shocked when she realized her teacher was shot.
“I heard him get shot. I was like, ‘Oh, no. They’re out for cold blood,'” Vega said. “When the policemen busted down the door, we all started going outside with our hands up, and they yelled at us. They’re like, ‘Don’t look to the side. Look straight ahead.’ I did a little glance. I saw they pushed a kid up here and put a mat over him, and then I saw the teacher over there. I didn’t know it was my teacher until people started telling me about it.”
Vega said returning to the school will be extremely difficult.
“I don’t want to come back to this school,” she said. “I can’t go up the stairs because up the stairs there was just trails of blood. Our teacher, right there in the corner. You just see the bullet and the blood on the wall."
After the horrific shooting, the Broward County Public School district announced closures for the rest of the week.
"Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will be closed Thursday, February 15 and Friday, February 16, 2018, (for the rest of this week)," the school district tweeted Wednesday evening. "All school activities are also cancelled."
Cruz reportedly began shooting around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, minutes before the school day's dismissal.
Using an AR-15 rifle, Cruz reportedly pulled the school's fire alarm then opened fire as kids began filing out of classrooms.
"We all thought it was a fire drill because we had one previously today," a student told FOX 6. "And we thought it was, so no one was that nervous, but then word started going around that it was shots and not just, like, something else, everyone just started running towards the canal."
One student managed to live tweet the shooting, while others posted videos to social media from inside classrooms. Police and SWAT arrived on the scene and helped many of the students out of the building, while others quickly fled on foot without being seen by Cruz.