World In Review - 2/27/18

 Students at Tam high school hold a candle light vigil for the victims of the Parkland shooting.  Internet Photo

Students at Tam high school hold a candle light vigil for the victims of the Parkland shooting. Internet Photo

By Alveena Siddiqi, News Reporter

17 people were killed and 14 wounded when a former student opened fire with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb.14.

 

19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who was previously expelled from the school for unspecified disciplinary reasons, arrived on campus by Uber at 2:19 p.m., according to the New York Times.

He began shooting outside, and then proceeded inside the building, where 12 of the victims were killed. Cruz was apprehended by police at 3:41 p.m. while walking down a residential street, after blending into the crowd to escape and stopping by Subway and McDonald’s.

Cruz, who has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, has appeared in court twice since the shooting. As of Feb. 24, no further hearings had yet been scheduled for the case.

Cruz made several social media posts revealing his intentions prior to the shooting. He commented on a YouTube video five months prior to the attack that he was “going to be a professional school shooter one day,” commented “I’m going to do what he did” on a documentary about the 1966 University of Texas shooter, and regularly displayed a collection of guns on his Instagram account.

The FBI received multiple tip-offs, many of them from people close to Cruz, who expressed concern that he was likely to carry out these plans. The Broward County Sheriff's Office also received as many as 18 concerned calls between 2008-2017. The FBI issued an apology on Friday for failing to investigate and act on a detailed tip-off about Cruz received in January.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has called for FBI director Wayne’s resignation, despite the apology. “Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn’t going to cut it,” he said.

“An apology will never bring these 17 Floridians back to life or comfort the families who are in pain. The families will spend a lifetime wondering how this could happen, and an apology will never give them the answers they desperately need.”

President Donald Trump has called for arming teachers in schools as a solution to the growing problem. Trump argued on Thursday, Feb. 22 that teachers should be trained to "immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions.”

In the aftermath of the attack, multiple armed deputies are under investigation for failing to enter the building during the attack and confront the gunman. Following the resignation of Deputy Scott Peterson, allegations emerged that at least three other deputies were found after the incident also waiting outside the building. This discovery has added to concerns about the list of failures by law enforcement in dealing with Cruz.

Several major companies are openly cutting ties with the NRA following the incident. According to the BBC, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Enterprise Holdings, The Hertz Corporation, Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, First National Bank of Omaha, Symantec, and MetLife Inc. are among the first companies to remove benefits and discounts for NRA members.

The incident has also sparked an increase in student involvement in the national debate about gun laws. On Tuesday, Feb. 20, students and staff from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School walked out of classes and marched to a protest in Fort Lauderdale to demand legal action. “We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks,” said student Emma Gonzalez. “Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because … we are going to be the last mass shooting.”

In response to a call for action by the students, high school and college campuses nationwide are planning walkouts and protests on March 14, the one-month anniversary of the Parkland shooting, as a call for stricter gun control laws.