Just seven weeks into 2018, there have been eight school shootings in the United States that have resulted in deaths and injuries.
On Wednesday, Feb. 14, suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz allegedly entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and opened fire with an AR-15, killing 17 and wounding another 15 students and adults. That shooting marked the eighth school shooting since Jan.1, 2018 to result in death and injury, The Guardian reports.
Less than a month ago, students at Marshall County High School in Kentucky went through the same experience when a 15-year-old armed with a handgun entered the school and began shooting. The shooting resulted in two deaths and 19 injuries.
In all, guns have been fired on school properties in the United States at least 18 times so far this year. Eight of those incidents involved a gun being fired on school property with no reported injuries. Two of the incidents were gun suicides. The remaining eight resulted in deaths and injuries, like the ones witnessed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Marshall County High School.
The repeated tragedies have resulted in many Americans to urge for stricter gun control laws, a topic that still deeply divides the country. Others have urged that mental health be taken more seriously. In the wake of the Florida school shooting, celebrities took to Twitter to address the shooting and express their stance on current gun laws in America.
Cruz, 19, who had been a former student at the high school, had legally purchased an assault rifle last year. The family he had been living with had been aware that he had an AR-15, though they never saw him use it and they made him keep it in a locked gun cabinet. Cruz had the key to that cabinet.
Cruz has since been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.