A gunman set off fire alarms at a Florida high school on Feb. 14, luring hundreds of students out of their classrooms so he could open fire with a semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle.
After firing several rounds, the shooting suspect, identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, dropped his weapon and hid among the crowd as authorities evacuated students and faculty members from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Police captured Cruz over an hour later in Coral Springs, located about a mile away. He was taken to a local hospital and then released into police custody.
Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. Fourteen others were wounded in the shooting, including several with life-threatening injuries.
Below is a timeline of events that detail how the shooting unfolded.
Wednesday, Feb. 14
Cruz was picked up by an Uber, before he was dropped off at the high school at 2:19 p.m., a Wednesday timeline from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office showed.
Cruz went into Building 12’s east stairwell with a rifle in a case, according to the timeline. He goes “through all three floors, shooting several students and faculty inside the classrooms and hallways of the building.”
Cruz got out and ran in the direction of tennis courts before going south, according to the sheriff’s office. At 2:29 p.m., it said he crossed a field and ran west with other people.
Students reportedly were texting about a shooter at the school.
Cruz went into a Walmart and purchased a drink at a Subway inside and left the store, per the sheriff’s office timeline.
Deputies responded to reports of a shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a tweet.
WSVN, a local news station, reported that there were at least five people injured at the school.
The sheriff’s office warned the public to “avoid the area of Stoneman Douglas HS” as authorities investigated reports of an active shooter.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office timeline said Cruz went to a McDonald’s, sat down briefly and left.
A student shared a photo to Twitter to show where he and other students were hiding.
The sheriff’s office tweeted the shooter was still at large.
Broward Schools said the school was on lockdown after students and faculty heard what sounded like gunfire.
Broward Schools began dismissing students from the school.
“We are receiving reports of possible multiple injuries,” the school district tweeted. “Law enforcement and the District’s Special Investigative Unit are currently on site.”
A Coconut Creek police officer detained Cruz in Coral Springs, the timeline indicated, adding that detectives with the sheriff’s office performed a show-up procedure.
President Trump tweeted about the shooting, offering his “prayers and condolences.”
The shooter was taken into custody, the sheriff’s office confirmed in a tweet, warning that the scene was still active.
The sheriff’s office tweeted there were at least 14 “victims,” who “have been and continue to be transported to Broward Health Medical Center and Broward Health North hospital.”
The suspected shooter was taken to a local hospital.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson said there were “a number of fatalities.”
Israel confirmed the shooter was not a current student at Stoneman Douglas High School.
In a separate tweet, the sheriff’s office said SWAT teams were still clearing the school.
Students started to reunite with their parents.
Sheriff Israel said 17 people were killed in the shooting.
The sheriff’s office identified the shooting suspect as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.
A local news reporter for WSVN tweeted a photo of the suspect being detained by police.
Thursday, Feb. 15
Trump urged the public to always report suspicious behavior to authorities.
“So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem,” Trump tweeted. “Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”
Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, Israel announced in a news conference.
Trump addressed the nation, describing the massacre as a “scene of terrible violence, hatred, and evil.”
He vowed to work with state and local leaders to help “secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”
Cruz made a court appearance on 17 counts of murder. The judge ordered him to be held without bond.
Cruz confessed to arriving at the high school with an AR-15 rifle and a backpack of “additional loaded magazines” and told investigators he shot “students that he saw in the hallways and on school grounds,” according to an arrest affidavit filed Thursday evening.
Friday, Feb. 16
Cruz may plead guilty to avoid the death penalty, his lawyer reportedly said Friday.
On Friday, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited Broward Health North Hospital in Florida — the same hospital where many of the shooting victims were treated. The two met with survivors and medical professionals while they were there.
Later that evening, Trump tweeted photos of the visit.
Monday, Feb. 19
Cruz arrived at a Fort Lauderdale courtroom for a hearing that started at 1 p.m. During the hearing, a judge ruled that already-sealed documents remain that way, WPTV reported.
Broward County Public Schools announced that classes are slated to resume at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School “on a modified schedule” on Feb. 27.
Wednesday, Feb. 21
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a press conference Wednesday evening that county deputies who are qualified will now carry rifles on school campuses.
When the rifles are not in use, they will be locked in patrol cars, he said, adding that the school district’s superintendent supports his decision.
“Only deputies who are trained and qualified will carry those rifles. But we need to defeat any threat that comes onto campus,” he said.
The deputies will carry AR-15s, Israel said — the same type of gun that the suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz used. But the deputies’ rifles will not be fully automatic, he said, according to CBS News.
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump met with students and parents who have been affected by various school shootings. Many attendees pleaded with Trump to end gun violence at schools and suggested possible solutions.
Trump later tweeted about the discussion.
“I will always remember the time I spent today with courageous students, teachers and families,” he wrote. “So much love in the midst of so much pain. We must not let them down. We must keep our children safe!!”
Thursday, Feb. 22
Israel kicked off a Thursday afternoon press conference, during which he said that school resource Deputy Scot Peterson was “absolutely on campus for this entire event.”
“He was armed, he was in uniform,” Israel said of the BSO deputy. “After seeing video, witness statements and Scot Peterson’s very own statement, I decided this morning to suspend Scot Peterson without pay pending an internal investigation.” He added, Peterson instead resigned and retired.
“The investigation will continue,” the sheriff announced.
Israel said that “what I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of Building 12, take up a position — and he never went in.”
He said that Peterson should have “went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer.”
Israel said he thought that Peterson stayed outside of the building “for upwards of four minutes.” He confirmed that the shooting lasted six minutes.
At one point during the briefing, a voice said, “He clearly knew there was a shooting.”
“Clearly,” the sheriff responded.
Friday, Feb. 23
Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced on Friday a “major action plan” in response to the deadly shooting on Feb. 14.
The plan is divided into three parts. The first, Scott said, is to keep guns away from dangerous and violent people. The second is a $450 million proposal to keep schools safe. And the third, according to Scott, is a $50 million proposal to expand mental health care initiatives in the state.
More specifically, the plan proposes to raise the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21, ban mentally ill people from buying a gun and place at least one law enforcement officer at every school.
You can read more about the $500 million plan here.
Several Broward sheriff’s deputies reportedly waited outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the Valentine’s Day massacre.
The Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that according to police sources at least three Broward deputies, including deputy Scot Peterson, waited outside.
The news comes just a day after Peterson resigned under fire because he allegedly stayed outside the high school during the shooting. Trump later labeled Peterson as a “coward” for his alleged inaction.
“BSO detectives are investigating the claim from the Coral Springs Police Department that some deputies did not go into the school when they should have,” the Broward Sheriff’s Office tweeted. “Stop reporting it as a fact.”
Sunday, Feb. 25
Israel appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” in an interview with Jake Tapper.
Tapper said he was “told by sources in Coral Springs that Coral Springs police who arrived at the scene saw that three other Broward deputies were standing behind cars not having gone into the building.”
Israel said the “investigation to this point shows that, during this horrific attack, while this killer was inside the school, there was only one law enforcement person, period, and that was former Deputy Scot Peterson.”
He added, “Coral Springs arrived, a group of Coral Springs officers went in within, I think, about four minutes, we’re projecting, after the killer left the campus.”
The sheriff said he understood “that they’re going to give statements to us regarding the other three, four, five deputies. At this point, we have no reason to believe that anyone acted incorrectly or correctly.”
The sheriff was later asked about a Saturday letter sent by state Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, to the governor which called for Israel’s ouster.
“It was a shameful – of course I won’t resign,” Israel said. “It was a shameful letter. It was politically motivated.”
Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Pasco County, tweeted that he sent a letter to Scott calling for him to fire Israel.
“I was honored to be joined by 73 Republican colleagues,” Corcoran wrote.
A tweet from a Politico reporter indicated Scott wouldn’t fire or suspend Israel — at least not right away.
It included a shot of a statement from the governor, in which he said that he has called on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement “to immediately investigate the law enforcement response and will continue to review this matter as more facts come out.”
“I have spoken to Speaker Corcoran about his request and I understand his concerns,” Scott said.
Parkland shooting survivor Jaclyn Collins tweeted, “Going back to school for the first time…this movement is for the 17.”
A voluntary orientation was scheduled to take place at the school from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., according to Broward County Public Schools.
The sheriff’s office tweeted that it “welcomes Governor Scott’s call for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the law enforcement response to the Parkland school shooting.”
Fox News’ Shira Bush, Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Kathleen Joyce, Zoe Szathmary, Robert Gearty and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
COVID-19: Holidays to Spain could be delayed ‘until end of summer’ | World News
Britons hoping to escape to Spain could have their holiday plans cancelled following reports the Spanish prime minister said the country would not welcome international tourists until the “end of summer”.
Speaking at a meeting of the World Tourism Organisation, Pedro Sanchez reportedly said he did not expect holidaymakers to visit Spain until nearly all of the population has been vaccinated.
He said the country would “progressively” prepare to welcome international tourists once 70% of Spain’s population had been vaccinated, which he expected to be by the end of this summer, local media sites including Euro Weekly News have reported.
It will be a blow for the tourism sector, which closed its worst year since the 1970s in 2020 with revenues falling by more than 75%.
Spain reported its highest daily number of coronavirus infections yet on Thursday, recording 44,357 cases.
A further 404 deaths were also reported, taking the country’s total to 55,041 deaths and 2.5 million cases.
Spain is not the only popular holiday destination closing its doors to British tourists, as Portugal has said it will be suspending all flights to and from Britain from Saturday onwards.
Only repatriation flights will be allowed between the two countries, Prime Minister Antonio Costa told a news conference.
Meanwhile, the UK itself has “considered” a full closure of its borders.
Environment Secretary George Eustice told Sky News ministers were keeping the idea “under review” and “can’t rule anything out for now” – although they believed the current restrictions were “sufficient”.
Asked whether people should be booking foreign holidays for this summer, Home Secretary Priti Patel refused to give an answer and said it was “far too early” to speculate on restrictions.
But some Britons have already begun booking their breaks, with holiday firms saying they had seen a spike in bookings from older people planning trips following the vaccine roll-out.
The UK’s largest tour operator TUI said half of bookings made so far have been made by over-50s.
Spain ranks among the most popular countries for people planning holidays this year.
A study by travel company Club Med showed it was the fifth most popular destination, behind the Maldives, Mexico, Thailand and Turkey.
Earlier, European Union leaders held an online summit to discuss potential coronavirus measures, including further border restrictions.
While a number of EU leaders said they would not rule out border closures, Spain and Greece backed an idea for a common approach to “vaccine passports”.
The system would allow people to travel if they had received the vaccine, although EU diplomats said the measure was premature as it is not yet clear if vaccinated people could still pass on the virus to others.
China gold mine blast: Trapped workers must wait another two weeks for rescue | World News
Rescuers trying to free a group of miners trapped hundreds of metres underground have said it may take another 15 days to drill and clear a route wide enough to reach them.
They are desperately trying to bring the workers back to the surface following an explosion at the Hushan gold mine in Qixia, Shandong province, in eastern China on 10 January.
A total of 22 miners became trapped after the blast blocked the mine entrance.
One is confirmed to have died from head injuries. Eleven are known to be alive and rescuers have made contact with 10 of them, while one is said to be in a nearby chamber. The remaining 10 are missing.
Holes have been drilled and used to pass food, medicine and other supplies to the group while they wait.
Rescuers are now drilling a new wider shaft to reach the 10 men in the middle section of the mine – more than 600m from the entrance – which they hope to use to bring the survivors to safety.
The mine shaft is blocked 350m below the surface by 70 tonnes of debris that extends down another 100m, the Yantai city government said in a statement on its social media account.
Other shafts are being drilled for communication and ventilation – to expel deadly fumes.
About 600 people are involved in the rescue, with as many as 25 ambulances waiting at the scene, as well as neurosurgeons, trauma specialists and psychologists.
Medical workers in white protective suits are also on site and have been taking people’s temperatures as part of COVID-19 precautions.
Mine managers have been detained for waiting more than 24 hours before reporting the incident, the cause of which is still not known.
Google threatens to block search engine in Australia if forced to pay for news | Science & Tech News
Google has threatened to block its search engine in Australia if it is forced to pay media outlets for their news content.
Both Google and social media giant Facebook – which also opposes the rules and has threatened to remove news from its feed for Australian users – are fighting government plans for a new digital news code.
It would make tech giants negotiate payments with local publishers and broadcasters, and a government-appointed arbitrator would decide the price if they fail to strike a deal.
“Coupled with the unmanageable financial and operational risk if this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia,” Mel Silva, the company’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, told a Senate inquiry into the bill.
“And that would be a bad outcome not only for us, but also for the Australian people, media diversity, and the small businesses who use our products every day.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison immediately hit back, saying “we don’t respond to threats”.
Ms Silva said the company was willing to pay a wide and diverse group of news publishers for the value they added, but not under the rules currently proposed, which includes payments for links and snippets.
She suggested a series of tweaks to the bill, adding: “We feel there is a workable path forward.”
Simon Milner, a Facebook vice president, said the sheer volume of deals it would have to strike would be unworkable.
Google dominates internet searches in Australia, with Ms Silva telling senators about 95% are done through the company.
Mr Morrison told reporters in Brisbane: “Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia.
“That’s done in our parliament. It’s done by our government. And that’s how things work here in Australia.”
He added: “People who want to work with that in Australia, you’re very welcome. But we don’t respond to threats.”
Australia announced the legislation last month after an investigation found Google and Facebook held too much market power in the media industry, a situation it said posed a potential threat to a well-functioning democracy.
Facebook and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, are among the most prominent American technology companies.
The US government this week asked Australia to scrap the proposed laws, and suggested it should pursue a voluntary code instead.
But The Australia Institute, an independent think tank, said politicians should stand firm against the tech giants.
“Google’s testimony today is part of a pattern of threatening behaviour that is chilling for anyone who values our democracy,” said Peter Lewis, the director of the institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology.
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