An orphaned 19-year-old with a troubled past and his own AR-15 rifle was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday morning following the deadliest school shooting in the U.S.in five years.
The gunman, identified as 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, had been expelled from the school because of disciplinary issues.
Twelve people were shot dead in the school building, two outside, one in the street and two people were left with injuries from which they later died.
He said the victims comprised of a mixture of students and adults.
One survivor, Kyle Yeoward, 16, said he and about 15 other students and a teacher hid in a closet for almost two hours before police arrived.
Cruz was known at school as having problems, according to several witnesses interviewed by local media. The suspect is in custody and has been identified as Nikolas Cruz. "I stopped seeing him before his mom passed away because I ended up moving [to Sunrise, Florida], but we would still contact each other every other day".
"The president will address the nation on the tragic shooting in Parkland, FL at 11am", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
The president tweeted: "My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the bad Florida shooting". He said: "No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school".
"My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the awful Florida shooting", he tweeted.