Graphic video shows terrified students huddled down as Florida gunman unleashes hail of bullets during deadly shooting

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1 NEWS | Associated Press

At least seventeen people have been confirmed dead by authorities after a horrifying shooting at a Florida high school this morning. 

Florida school shooting, 17 dead: 'When that teacher came back, she was absolutely covered in blood' - student's chilling account

Students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in Florida barricaded themselves in classrooms as suspected gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz unleashed a hail of bullets. 

Broward County Florida Sheriff, Scott Israel said 17 students and teachers are dead and at least 14 have been taken to hospital, with three in a critical condition.

"Just pray for this city, pray for this school, the parents, the folks that lost their lives."

"It's a horrific, horrific day. It's just horrible."

Cruz had reportedly been expelled from Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for disciplinary reasons.

He had one AR-15 semi-automatic style firearm and multiple magazines, and was taken into custody after the shooting.

He was found off campus this morning (NZT), with reports he blended into fleeing students to escape to a nearby suburb where he was captured by police.

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida said today that the shooter wore a gas mask and had smoke grenades. 

Senator Nelson says the attacker "set off the fire alarm so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall. And there the carnage began."

He says he did not know if the gunman had used the smoke grenades but he assumed that's why he had a gas mask on. 

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