At least 17 dead in Florida high school shooting

Seventeen people have died and dozens of others are receiving treatment for gunshot wounds after a mass shooting broke out at a Florida high school on Wednesday afternoon (local time).

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed the death toll in a press conference.

At least another 20 people were injured in the attack, multiple reports suggest, and gunman Nikolas de Jesus Cruz has now been taken into custody.

The arrest of Nikolas Cruz.
The arrest of Nikolas Cruz. Photo credit: CBS News

The 19-year-old is a former student of the school's who was last year expelled for disciplinary reasons, and is believed to have acted alone.

"We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him," maths 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."

Another student told CBS News that Cruz was known to "always have guns on him and stuff like that". Despite acknowledging "he was a little bit of a troubled kid", he insisted no one at the school would pick on him.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting is already the 19th school shooting in the US so far in 2018.

"[We are] working on a developing incident regarding a report of active shooter located at 5901 Pine Island Rd, Parkland," Broward Sheriff Office said on Twitter, moments after the shooting broke out.

"Here's what we know so far: deputies are responding to reports of a shooting at Stoneman Douglas High. There are reports of victims. PIO will be on scene 3:15pm."

Coral Springs Police Department earlier explained that it would go through each room individually to get the students trapped inside out.

Aerial footage shows SWAT teams methodically escorting a number of uninjured students from the premises.

Earlier, CBS News got in contact with a student who said they were "hiding in a tiny closet with a lot of classmates and their drama teacher".

"They are all okay, but they are scared, as you can imagine."

Another person who claimed to be a student at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School posted on Twitter describing his fear at the situation.

At least 17 dead in Florida high school shooting
Photo credit: Twitter / @TheCaptainAidan

Florida locals have been told to avoid the area as police bring the incident under control.

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