Photo from thedailybeast.com
By Vaidik Trivedi
February 14th is marked every year as a day to celebrate love across the globe. But at a Florida high school, for a football coach, a geography teacher, an athletic director and 14 innocent students, Valentine’s Day was their last day alive.
Yet another school shooting happened, this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the city of Parkland in Broward County, Florida, on February 14th. These devastating events bring the count of school shootings (that happened during school hours and resulted in injury) to five this year alone. As expected, people are shocked everywhere on earth.
The shooter was, a former student at high the school, who had been previously expelled from the school, opened fire on the school premises. He fired more than over 100 rounds with his legally purchased AR-15 rifle, killing 17 people in the process. Teachers tried to protect the students by locking them in classrooms. Aaron Feis, a 37-year-old football coach and security guard, and Scott Beigel, a 35-year-old geography teacher, both died while trying to protect students by getting them into classrooms and out of the hallways.
The shooter is currently being held at the Broward County Jail, without a bond. He has been placed on a suicide watch and is being charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
According to the police, the shooter also used a smoke grenade and pulled the fire alarm to get the students out in the hallways. After the shooting, Cruz disposed his gun and extra magazines that he brought and attempted to blend in with the worried and panicked students being ushered out of the building by police. He was caught an hour later in Coral Springs, a city near Parkland.
The shooter had been reported to the police on multiple occasions by his teachers and his mother to help deal with his violent behavior. He was described as “emotionally unstable” and had shown interest in purchasing firearms.
Six weeks ago, the FBI was warned by an anonymous source that the shooter had violent tendencies and had expressed desire to harm student. The FBI failed to follow up. According to the FBI , the tip should have made it to the Miami Field office, or the agent located in that region, who would have then followed it up. This did not occur. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked for an “immediate review” of why the FBI failed to act on this information.
Speaking on the tragedy the day after, President Trump said, “Our entire nation, with one heavy heart is praying for the victim and their families. We are all joined together as one suffering American family, and your suffering is our burden also.” Many have been critical of President Trump’s words, and among his critics are students that were at the school that was attacked. Many expressed the necessity for change in America’s gun laws, and pushed back on the “thoughts and prayers” comments offered by the President and others.