Watch: Florida's Governor totally refuses to answer questions on US gun laws after school massacre kills 17

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Florida's Republican Governor has evaded making any comment on the state of US gun laws following the high school mass shooting that killed 17 today, instead vaguely touching on the need to improve law enforcement.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, who is a public supporter of the National Rifle Association, was asked at the close of day in Florida, whether politicians like him were "complicit" in such US mass shootings for their resistance to harsher gun laws.

The reporter asked: "Are we all in society, politicians in society included, complicit when critics say we pay lip service to the great need for mental health care in this country, and people like you who are very pro-gun, don't want to see any gun restrictions."

"When do you take a stand? Are you willing to take a stand? Are you willing to take one now that it's happened in the backyard of your won state?"

In reply, Governor Scott couldn't even manage to pay lip service to the subject, completely avoiding any reference to gun laws and simply saying there is a time to have conversations about improving mental health services and law enforcement.

"My heart goes out to everyone impacted today. Um, all of us can internalise this if it were to happen to their family," Mr Scott said.

"You know, all of us want to live in a safe community, and there's a time to continue to have these conversations about how through law enforcement, how through mental illness funding that we make sure people are safe, and we'll continue to do that."

At least seventeen people have been confirmed dead by authorities in the fatal Florida high school shooting today. 

Authorities said 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz is in custody after the attack Wednesday that claimed 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Officials say Cruz was a former student, having been expelled from the school.

Classmates of Cruz have described him as having a fixation on guns, and owning numerous firearms.

Broward county mayor Beam Furr told CNN that Cruz had previously attended a mental health clinic, but had not been seen there for more than a year.

"It wasn’t like there wasn’t concern for him. We try to keep our eyes out on those kids who aren’t connected," Mayor Furr said.

"Most teachers try to steer them toward some kind of connections. In this case, we didn’t find a way to connect with this kid."

Also fronting the press conference, held around 3.30 (NZDT), was Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel, who added the fresh information that one of the victims was a coach at the school, and a deputy sheriff’s son was shot, but doesn’t have life-threatening injuries.

In an earlier press conference, Broward County Florida Sheriff Scott Israel said 12 were killed within the building, two outside, one on the street and two lost their lives at the hospital. 

"I'm sadden to say 17 people lost their lives."

"There are people that are still undergoing surgery."

"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."

Sheriff Israel said the gunman, believed to be 19-year-old Nicholas Cruz had "countless magazines" and is believed to have used one AR 15 rifle.

He also said Cruz was expelled for disciplinary reasons from the high school. 

For a rundown on how events unfolded today, click here. 

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