FORT LAUDERDALE, FL. -- Broward Sheriff's Office deputies responded to an active shooter situation at a northwest Broward County school in the city of Parkland Wednesday afternoon.
Responding deputies were met with hundreds of students fleeing the school. Investigators later learned that the shooter had concealed himself in the crowd and was among those running out of the school.
After watching school security video, investigators were able to identify the shooter as Nikolas Cruz, 19. Cruz had attended and was expelled from the school the previous year.
Cruz was taken into custody by Coconut Creek PD in a nearby neighborhood in Coral Springs. Cruz exhibited labored breathing. He was transported to a local hospital as a precaution for medical clearance.
Seventeen victims were transported to Broward Health Coral Springs, Broward Health North, Broward Health Medical Center and Boca West Medical Center. Two of the 17 victims who were transported died at the hospital.
Fifteen victims died at the school. BSO investigators are working with Broward County Schools staff to identify all of the victims.
Students were bused from Stoneman Douglas High School to a nearby hotel to be reunited with their families.
The high school has about 3,200 students and has been rated among the top 15 high schools in Florda, located in the affluent city of Parkland, which has a population of 32,000.
Individuals with information are encouraged to call the FBI tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI or visit https://www.fbi.gov/parklandshooting.