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17 killed in Florida school shooting by former student

People walk out of a hotel where students were quickly taken after a mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where at least 17 people were killed, on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida MARK WILSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

A former student armed with a rifle opened fire at a Florida high school on Wednesday, killing at least 17 people, in a shooting spree that saw terrified students hiding in closets and under desks as they texted for help.

Officials in Florida had no explanation on Wednesday night as to why a former student armed with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle opened fire at a high school earlier that day, killing at least 17 people and wounding 14 others.

The suspect has been named as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz who had been expelled frm the school..

Students were forced to hide as police entered the building, as the attack unfolded.

“There’s very little of a motive known for this man to have done this ghastly deed, other than he seemed to have been expelled” our Washington correspondent told RFI.

This year alone has already seen 18 school shootings, and it is only mid-February.

“There’s been very little reaction so far from the Republican side, contrary to the past reactions from the Democratic side. There were calls for tougher gun control, something that tends to play out after every mass shooting in the United States.”

There is not much coming from the White House at a time of a national tragedy, no on camera statement from President Donald Trump on the night of the shooting.

Trump did ttweet his prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the Florida shooting.

The killing spree is one of the deadliest school shootings since 26 people were killed at a Connecticut school in 2012.