February 14, 2018. Nikolas Cruz arrives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at 2:19, close to the end of the school day. Between 2:21 and 2:28, Nikolas warns a freshman to run before “things get messy” and then begins shooting with an AR-15 while carrying smoke grenades. A Code Red, signifying a lockdown, was enacted, but was overridden by a fire alarm.
Many teachers took measures to save their students, some such as Mrs.Viswanathan, Mrs. Hass, and Mrs. Schamis who had their students take cover and covered the windows to the classroom, having to silently comfort their students who had just seen their friends die. Mrs.Hass was able to contact 911 and her husband, resulting in help getting there faster.
However, not every hero made it. Assistant football coach Aaron Feis was told about Cruz’s gun by the freshman warned around 2:21, and proceeded to rush down a hallway, shoving students to the side for safety and shielding a freshman girl from a round of bullets and later died from his injuries.
During the attack, students recorded videos and photos of the event, with some even texting their families, some even saying goodbye before they passed away from their injuries.
The first arrival of a victim to the ER was at 2:55, and at 3:33 the first patient was admitted to Broward Health Medical Center. The terror finally ended at 3:36 when the lockdown was lifted and reinforced by the arrest of Cruz at 3:41 after citizens called in, saying they saw him at McDonald’s.
In total, 17 students, teachers, and other faculty died, with much more wounded.
What is truly shocking about this tragedy is that there was a hint to it found on a YouTube comment left by Nikolas Cruz, username nikolas cruz, that said: “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” The FBI conducted an investigation, but it was not revealed until after the shooting that it was truly him and not another individual.
Broward County Police Department had also received over 20 calls for service on Cruz and his younger brother and that each call would be re-evaluated and scrutinized for further warning signs.
Statistically, Parkland is the 6th school shooting this year that resulted in injuries, the 17th school shooting this year, and the deadliest school shooting in the nation second only to Sandy Hook in 2012.
The public reaction is mixed. President Trump tweeted out remarks saying that he would work with law enforcement and that his prayers are with the victims. However, to the student population, that is not enough. They feel as if the government is putting the interests of the lobbyists and sponsors above the safety of students.
One student even remarked that according to the grants President Trump received from the NRA, their lives are worth around $5,000, and asked if that amount of money was worth children dying.
The incident has re-invigorated the gun control debate. Some more liberal groups and the survivors of the shooting blame guns and want them gone completely, while other more conservative groups say they need more weapons on campus or more security to protect the students. More middle of the ground groups says there should be more restriction of who can get a gun such as extra restrictions for those people with mental illness and call for more to be done about the rise in mental illness, as many school shooters have had some form of mental illness.
In response to the shooting, walkouts have been scheduled and conducted all over the nation, with some schools such as Mission even changing their bell schedules to allow students to participate if they feel the need to with as little disruption as possible.