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Summary

  1. Parkland, Florida, mourns 17 dead in shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
  2. Former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, is due in court on Thursday afternoon
  3. Teachers and students claim there had been warnings about his behaviour
  4. President Trump pledges to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health"

Live Reporting

By Marianna Brady and David Molloy

All times stated are UK

Pausing our live coverage...

Nikolas Cruz is expected in court later today, but for now, we're pausing our live coverage.

In the meantime, be sure to read:

FBI starts 'review' of last year's tip-off

The FBI has started an "extensive" review of how it handled a tip-off last year related to suspect Nikolas Cruz to see if any mistakes were made, Reuters news agency reports, citing a law enforcement official.

Earlier, it was revealed that a comment on YouTube - apparently from Mr Cruz - saying "I'm going to be a professional school shooter" had been reported to the FBI tip hotline.

The FBI said that, at the time, "no other information was included with that comment which would indicate a time, location or the true identity of the person".

Ben Bennight, the YouTube user who spotted the comment, said he had been interviewed by FBI agents last year - but there was no follow-up. He was interviewed again in the wake of the shooting.

He posted a video blog late on Wednesday about the story.

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Politicians' NRA links examined on Twitter

BBC Trending

Screenwriter Bess Kalb, who writes for Jimmy Kimmel Live, has been singling out senators who are tweeting their condolences - by responding with the amount of money they have received from the National Rifle Association (NRA):

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Suspect 'was a member' of white nationalist group

Suspect Nikolas Cruz was a member of white nationalist group Republic of Florida (ROF), its leader said.

The Anti-Defamation League first reported the connection, saying it had followed up online posts about the link by calling the ROF's leader, Jordan Jereb.

"Jereb said that Cruz was associated with ROF, having been “brought up” by another member," the ADL wrote in a blog post.

"Jereb added that Cruz had participated in one or more ROF training exercises in the Tallahassee area, carpooling with other ROF members from south Florida."

The same information was then confirmed by the Associated Press.

But the ROF said Cruz acted independently and the attack was not linked to the organisation.

The claims have not been verified by any law enforcement agency.

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Vigils for the victims

Vigils for the victims of the shooting are being held across Parkland today.

BBC reporter Owen Amos is live at one this afternoon:

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Broward Sheriff's office, which oversaw the police operation at the school, has just tweeted this reminder of another vigil for the victims at 18:00 local time (23:00 GMT):

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More victims named: 'We lost our baby girl'

Jaime Guttenberg
Jaime Guttenberg Facebook
Jaime Guttenberg was one of the 17 victims of Wednesday's mass shooting

Family and friends of the 17 victims are slowly naming their lost loved ones on social media.

Jaime Guttenberg's parents announced that their daughter was killed in a Facebook post.

Yesterday, "we lost our baby girl to a violent shooting at her school". Our son Jesse "lost his sister," the post read.

Read more about the victims of the shooting.

Obama calls for 'common-sense gun safety laws'

Obama tears up as he speaks in 2016 about his efforts to increase federal gun control after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting
Getty Images
Barack Obama shed tears in 2016 when speaking about the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting

Former President Barack Obama took to Twitter to offer his condolences to the victims of the mass shooting in Florida.

Mr Obama, who considers the mass shooting at Sandy Hook one of the worst moments of his presidency, said he was grieving - but reminded Americans that "we are not powerless".

He encouraged the creation of "common-sense gun safety laws that most Americans want".

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'I feel like I have to cry but I haven't been able to'

Kevin Trejos, 18, was one of the students in the school. He writes:

A large crowd of students gathers in a classroom
BBC
Kevin took this photo during the emergency

I was going to the bathroom to refill my water bottle when I heard the fire alarm... when I got back we started to evacuate...

We got as far as the bottom half of the stairs when the administrators started shouting at us to get inside.

At this point, we thought it was a real fire. We were directed to a different classroom, and were sent straight to a supplies closet.

We were still unsure about what was going on... we barricaded ourselves in to the closest after about 20 minutes, with a ton of desks and cables.

They came in with guns... they told us to put our hands up, and we filed out of the closet. Outside the classroom, there were even more police.

Once we got outside into the clearing and saw all of the police we got a sense of just how big this was.

I'm still in shock.

I will go to one of the vigils that is happening later at the Parkland Recreation Centre with a group of my friends.

None of my close friends were killed or injured, but some people who I know from some of my classes have been.

I feel like I have to cry but I haven't been able to.

Sheriff: Power needed to detain for 'concerning social media'

Sheriff wants ability to commit people for threatening social media

"The Baker Act in Florida allows law enforcement or medical professionals to confine a person involuntarily while they get examined and looked at," said Sheriff Israel, adding that officers must prove that the person is a threat.

"What I'm asking our lawmakers to do... is give police the power, if they see something on social media - if they see pictures of rifles, and blood and gore and guns and bombs - if they see something [like] horrific language.

"If they see a person talking about 'I want to grow up to be a serial killer' - we need to have the power to take that person and bring them before mental health professionals at that particular time, involuntarily, and have them examined."

FL senator: 'AR-15 is not for hunting, it’s for killing'

Senate Lawmakers Vote On FISA After House Passes Renewal, While Continuing To Negotiate Dream Act
Getty Images

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson - from Florida - addressed the Senate floor on Thursday and called for gun control.

“At some point we as a society has got to come together and put a stop to this,” he said.

“I have hunted all my life. I have had guns all my life. I still hunt with my son. But an AR-15 is not for hunting, it’s for killing," he continued.

He asked: "When is enough going to be enough?"

"Sandy Hook Elementary: 20 students killed. That wasn't enough.

"The Pulse nightclub in Orlando - 49 people killed. That wasn't enough.

"Las Vegas - 58 people killed. That wasn't enough.

"Now this high school - 17 killed. Some as young as 14 years old. When is enough going to be enough?"

President Trump: School safety 'our top priority'

Florida shooting: Trump warns against inaction

Paul Ryan: 'Don't jump to conclusions'

Trump administration 'in lock step with NRA'

Just before Mr Trump's speech, the BBC's White House reporter spoke to the Center for American Progress advocacy group, which accused his administration of having close ties to the National Rifle Association.

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After Mr Trump's remarks, she pointed out one of his previous speeches made clear his relationship with the gun rights group:

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Trump plans visit to Parkland, Florida

During his address to the nation, Mr Trump also said he was making plans to visit Parkland, Florida.

He has not yet provided a date.

BreakingTrump: We must tackle the 'difficult issue of mental health'

Donald Trump speaking
Getty Images
President Trump addresses the nation after the Florida school shooting

President Trump addressed the nation in the wake of the Florida shooting and promised to work with local and state leaders to secure schools, and “tackle the difficult issue of mental health".

"No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school. No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them good bye in the morning."

He continued, "Let us come together as one nation to wipe away the tears and strive for a much better tomorrow."

BreakingPresident Trump speaks

President Donald Trump is addressing the nation live from the White House right now:

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Gun control laws 'in this generation'

During the press conference, Superintendent Robert Runcie said: "Students have been reaching out to me, to staff, to board members...saying now is the time for this country to have a real conversation on sensible gun control laws."

"Our students are asking for that conversation. I hope we can get it done in this generation. And if we can't, they will."

In regard to the shooter's mental health he said the school district had been trying to get Cruz support while he was a student.

He added: "This is bigger than just the school system. We need a community wide approach to helping our students with challenges and mental health concerns. We need to invest resources, because if we don’t it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when [it will happen again].”

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FBI confirms YouTube comment investigated

During a press conference, FBI agent-in-charge Robert Lasky confirms agents investigated a suspicious YouTube post in which a commenter with the same name as the suspect posted about his desire to become "a school shooter".

"The comment simply said 'I'm going to be a professional school shooter," said Agent Lasky.

"No other information was included in that comment which would indicate a time, location or the true identify of the person who made the comment.

"The FBI conducted database reviews - checks - but was unable to further identify the person who actually made the comment."

BreakingPresident addresses the nation

Live from the White House

President Trump will address the nation in a few moments about the school shooting.

Watch it live right here:

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'Violence has to stop' - Florida governor

"How do we make sure that individuals with mental illness never touch a gun?" says Governor Rick Scott.

The Republican adds that lawmakers in Tallahassee, the state capital, must sit down to have "a real conversation" about gun control and mental illness.

"The violence has to stop. We cannot lose another child in this country to violence in a school," says Governor Scott.

White House flag flies at half mast

The US flag is seen flying at half mast atop the White House on 15 February
EPA

'Copycats at other schools'

The sheriff in Florida says that there have been a number of "fictitious" calls to schools today which distract police and spreads investigators thin.

He called the copycat calls "so pathetic".

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BreakingSheriff pledges to be 'very animated about what I think this country can do'

"Today's not easier than yesterday was," Sheriff Scott Israel said as he began his press conference.

"All the victim's families have been notified," he said, calling it a “daunting challenge”, but adding that it was “the right thing to do”.

He said that in the coming weeks, "I'm going to be very animated about what I think this country can do" to prevent future tragedies.

Jeff Sessions: This cannot continue

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, commenting on the shooting, said: "This situation that we're seeing just cannot continue."

"We will take such action as we are able to take. We have to reverse these trends that we are seeing in these shootings."

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"We are once again, watching the images of children— terrified— streaming out of their school, hands over their heads. It's image we don't need to continue to see. When parents, once again, go to sleep fearful that their kids will not be safe when they go to school," said Mr Sessions.

"It cannot be denied that something dangerous and unhealthy is happening our country," he added.

Fox News noted that Mr Sessions addressed the country's gun laws, saying: "It's not good if we've got gun laws that say criminals can't carry guns that never get enforced."

However, it is believed that the suspect, Nikolas Cruz, used a legally purchased AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in the attack.

Mr Sessions was speaking at the Major County Sheriffs of America conference.

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One survivor's story

David Hogg
BBC
"A very heroic janitor saved us"

It was 14:30 when David Hogg heard the first shot.

The 17-year-old was in environmental science class at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. The teacher had just passed out worksheets.

When he heard the bang, his classmates turned to each other. That sounded like a gun, they said.

The teacher closed the door. Within seconds, the fire alarm went off.

"We instinctively walked outside," says David. "We thought it was a drill."

As David's class walked towards the evacuation zone, they saw a "tsunami" of people running towards them. They turned and followed the crowd down the corridor.

What they didn't realise was this: they were heading towards the shooter.

"A very heroic janitor stopped us," says David. "He said, 'Don't go that way - he [the shooter] is over there'."

Policy and change, not thoughts and prayers

In the wake of the tragedy, many people have been expressing their condolences in the usual fashion - with "hopes and prayers".

But some people - including actress Elizabeth Banks - have criticised the sentiment.

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Many celebrities on social media have said that without actions and policy change, well wished amount to little.

Read our full piece for comments from Mark Ruffalo, Stephen King, and Kim Kardashian West.

On the scene: Almost like a normal day

The BBC's Owen Amos is at the scene

Police officers stand by their cars on a sunny morning at the scene
BBC

At first, it seems like a normal day in Parkland, Florida.

The sky is blue. The palm trees are green. And the temperature is rising.

But, on approaching Stoneman Douglas High, it’s clear that nothing is normal about today.

The yellow school buses are parked up, going nowhere. The soccer fields are empty. TV trucks line the neat verges.

While the high school is closed, the nearby elementary school is open. Parents hold their children’s hands tightly as they dodge cameramen.

Lanny James, 77, has a place five miles away in Margate. He comes here for the sun; today, the temperature is 25C by 9.30am.

He was playing golf when he heard the news. "I just love South Florida," he says. "This is supposed to be paradise."

Lanny, a semi-retired broadcaster, has 10 guns and has hunted since the 1960s.

"I just don’t know what the answer is," he says. "And there may not be one."

The day after

The morning after yet another fatal school shooting in the United States, Florida is mourning the victims.

We'll continue to provide updates on our live page. To catch up:

That brings our live coverage to an end

As we wrap up, here are the key facts:

  • at least 17 dead
  • more than a dozen wounded
  • a 19-year-old former pupil in custody
  • he had an AR-15 style weapon

As the story develops, we will continue to update our main story here.

Photos from the scene

A victim is loaded into an ambulance
Reuters
A victim is loaded into an ambulance
Students
AFP
Students outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Ambulances transported at least 14 people to the hospital
Reuters
Ambulances transported at least 14 people to the hospital
Outside the school
AFP
People console one another outside the school

More facts emerge about suspect

The suspect is a 19-year-old who was expelled from the school.

His name is Nikolaus Cruz.

He was armed with an AR-15 rifle and had “countless magazines”.

The shooting spree began outside the school and continued inside.

Breaking17 people dead - police

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel just told reporters the new death toll.

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BreakingAt least 12 dead, US media report

At least 12 people were killed in the shooting, according to US media reports.

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US media name suspect as Nikolaus Cruz

Nikolaus Cruz, 19, has been named as the suspect in the Florida school shooting, according to US media reports.

The suspect reportedly pulled the fire alarm and caused chaos in the school before he started shooting, law enforcement officials told CBS News.

The Broward County Sheriff previously said that Cruz had been a former student.

Vice-President Pence weighs in on shooting

'Everyone predicted this'

A student says in an interview that the suspect was well known for being a troubled kid.

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Footage of suspect being arrested

A local reporter captured footage of a group of police officers swarming the suspect to arrest him.

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Students comfort each other

'Some students may still be hiding'

The sheriff adds that they believe all students are now out of the school, but there is a chance there may still be wounded children hiding in the building.

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