PARKLAND, Fla. – Florida Governor Rick Scott described on Wednesday the shooting dead of 17 people at a high school in that state as “pure evil” as he spoke at a press conference.
Scott, standing alongside law enforcement and state officials, asked “How can this ever happen in this country? How can this ever happen in this state? You come to the conclusion this is just absolute, pure evil.”
Broward County Sheriff Scott J. Israel, who spoke after Scott, said that 12 of the 17 victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been identified, two of whom died at the hospital.
One of the victims was a football coach at the school, who Israel did not name.
He also added that the son of one of his deputy sheriffs was shot in the arm during the incident and was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
“Pray for this city. Pray for this school. It’s a horrific day. My triplets graduated from Stoneman High School,” Israel said.
Scott had earlier said that one of the fatalities included one person who was shot at an intersection near the school in Parkland, northwest of Fort Lauderdale.
Israel identified the shooter as Nikolas Cruz, 19, who once attended Douglas.
The shooting began around 2:20 pm inside a classroom. One student managed to set off a fire alarm and the BSO (Broward County Sheriff’s Office) received a telephone call about the incident about 20 minutes later.
BSO officers oversaw the evacuation of the school’s roughly 3,000 students, who were later transported to a nearby hotel to be reunited with their parents.