'I heard gunshots, I thought it was firecrackers' - Students describe confusion during deadly Florida school shooting

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Associated Press

Students of a Florida high school which was the scene of a shooting spoke of their horror after Wednesday's attack, while they were being reunited with their parents at a South Florida hotel.

At least 17 people are dead after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Source: Associated Press

Officers transported the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland to a Marriott Hotel in Coral Springs.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said the attack began outside the school Wednesday afternoon (today NZT).

He told reporters that authorities subsequently found 12 people dead in the building and two more dead just outside the school and one more in a nearby street.

Two other people died later under medical treatment.

"I heard gunshots. I thought it was firecrackers. But after I heard the last shot I was like oh, no," said student Manuel Barraza.

The suspect, a 19-year-old former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was in custody.

The gunman was identified as Nikolas Cruz by a US official briefed on the investigation.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to discuss the information publicly.

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