Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Massacre

Evelyn Rodriguez and Dezare Lozano

On February 14, 2018, a mass shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed and fourteen more were injured, making it one of the world’s deadliest school massacres. The suspect is 19 year old Nikolas Cruz. According to non-profit organization, Everytown for Gun Safety, this marks the eighteenth school shooting of 2018 in the United States.

Cruz arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at 2:19 p.m.  He carried a black duffel bag and backpack, where he hid loaded magazines, and pulled out a semi automatic AR-15 rifle – the same weapon that has been used in numerous mass shootings. He pulled the fire alarm and shot students and teachers inside five classrooms on the first and second floors of the freshman buildings. He then continued to shoot students in the hallways. When he ran out of magazines, he dropped the backpack and blended in with the students who were evacuating.

When asking teachers about their thoughts in the matter two responded saying how “I think it’s crazy to know that students are a threat on campus,”  said Mrs. Sandoval, Spanish teacher, and “Knowing that I’m not safe even in my own classroom is terrifying,” said Mr. Garber, History teacher.

Cruz purchased this gun legally on February 2017 according to a federal law official. According to and  federal law, it is illegal to sell firearms to individuals with a history of mental illness. This means people who have been adjudicated mentally defective or involuntary committed to a mental institution. Adjudicated mentally defective means a court or some other legal authority has determined that the individual, as a result of their mental illness, is a danger to himself or others, lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs, is found insane by a court on a criminal case or not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility or is found incompetent to stand trial.  Federal law does not require to supply the information of those who voluntarily committed themselves to a mental institution to their National Instant Criminal Background Check.

Eileen Mendoza, (12) said, “That was crazy. It scared me even though I’m across the country from the place.”

While the shooting was happening, the school resource deputy, Scot Peterson, 54, retired after an internal investigation was launched into why he sat outside the school for about four minutes and never entered as the shooter killed students and staff.
Cruz went to a nearby McDonald’s ten minutes later and left shortly after. A police officer found the suspect walking, and arrested him without incident at 3:41 p.m.

When the authorities asked his peers about Cruz’s behavior they described him as a “loner”  and how “All he would talk about is guns, knives and hunting,” former classmate Joshua Charo, 16, told the Miami Herald. “I can’t say I was shocked. From past experiences, he seemed like the kind of kid who would do something like this.”

Cruz’s guardian called the police due to his violent behavior at home. His adoptive mother, Lynda Cruz, also called the police before her passing because he got angry because she took his Xbox away and became violent and started punching the walls. A neighbor also called the police warning them that he was going to shoot up the school. She even recorded him in the backyard doing target practice and  showed it to the police.

Two deputies, Edward Eason and Guntis Treijis, have been placed on restricted administrative assignment, pending an investigation into how they handled the calls warning them about Cruz having possession of firearms while having mental illnesses and suspicion of him killing himself and shooting up a school.

The victims of the massacre:

  • Alyssa Alhadeff, 14
  • Martin Duque Anguiano, 14
  • Jaime Guttenberg, 14
  • Cara Loughran, 14
  • Gina Montalto, 14
  • Alex Schachter, 14
  • Alaina Petty, 14
  • Peter Wang, 15
  • Luke Hoyer, 15
  • Carmen Schentrup, 16
  • Nicholas Dworet, 17
  • Helena Ramsay, 17
  • Joaquin Oliver, 17
  • Meadow Pollack, 18
  • Scott Beigel, 35
  • Aaron Feis, 37
  • Chris Hixon, 49