On Wednesday evening Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed 17 people died after the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
"I'm saddened to say that 17 people lost their lives," Israel said in a press conference.
That number of casualties makes the shooting the third-deadliest school shooting in the history of the United States, behind only the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech University and the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.
According to CNN, the shooting is also one of the 10 deadliest shootings overall in American history, though nowhere near as deadly as the Harvest Music Festival shooting in Las Vegas in 2017 (58 killed) and the 2016 shooting at the Pulse night club in Orlando (49 killed).
Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student, pulled the fire alarm at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, minutes before dismissal. As the students moved their way out of the classrooms, Cruz opened fire wielding an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, similar to the 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado and the 2015 shooting in San Bernardino, California.
Cruz was reportedly asked to leave the school in Spring 2017 after threatening multiple students. He was reportedly not allowed to be on school grounds.
"We were told last year that he wasn't allowed on campus with a backpack on him," teacher Jim Gard told The Miami Herald. "There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus."
One student also stated publicly that students used to joke that Cruz might one day bring a gun to the school.
"Honestly, a lot of people were saying that it was going to be him," the student told WSBTV. "A lot of kids threw around jokes like that, saying 'this is the one that's going to shoot up the school,' but it turns out everyone predicted it. That's crazy."
Cruz was arrested at approximately 3:11 p.m. at a townhouse in Pelican Poine in Wyndham Lakes in Coral Springs, Florida.
The school announced on Wednesday evening that it will be closed for both Thursday and Friday this week.0comments
"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. "All school activities are also cancelled."
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will be closed Thursday, February 15 and Friday, February 16, 2018, (for the rest of this week). All school activities are also cancelled.— Broward Schools (@browardschools) February 15, 2018