WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Russian Embassy in the United States expressed shock on Wednesday at the news of a shooting at a high school in Florida that killed 17 people, and said it shared the sorrow of the bereaved friends and relatives.
“Shocked to hear about Florida school shooting. We share the sorrow of those who lost their loved ones and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” the diplomatic mission tweeted.
At least 17 people were killed and fourteen others wounded at a high school in southern Florida’s Broward County after a former student wielding a semiautomatic rifle went on a shooting spree. The suspected gunman, 19-year old Nikolas Cruz, began opening fire around 2:30 p.m. local time (7:30 p.m. GMT) on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters that Cruz used a Colt AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle as he confirmed the number of fatalities.
“I’m saddened to say that 17 people lost their lives,” Israel said.
Local police arrested the gunman about an hour after the incident, media reported. Broward County superintendent Robert Runcie told reporters that Wednesday’s massacre marked the worst school incident in the county’s history.
Shortly after reports of the shooting broke, the Broward Sheriff Office (BSO) said in a statement that US law enforcement officers arrived to the scene of a reported active shooting. Local media said at least 20 people had been injured. Local police in nearby Coral Springs also tried to warn faculty and students inside the building to stay put as they gunman was still at large.
“Students/Teachers [at] #Douglas High School Remain barricaded inside until police reach you,” the Coral Springs Police Department said in a Twitter post.
After the suspect was taken into custody, police continued to reach out along with the FBI for any information related to the incident.
Mass gun shootings have recently plagued the United States, evidenced by an October massacre in Las Vegas, Nevada, after a gunman from a hotel complex killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others. In January, two students were killed and 17 injured in a school shooting in Kentucky.
In 2012, gunman Adam Lanza killed 26 people and himself at Sandy Hook elementary school in the US state of Connecticut.
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