Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida had a bad feeling about a former student who is now the alleged gunman.
The alleged shooter was identified Wednesday evening following a horrific shooting at the school in which at least 17 were killed. The accused gunman is a 19-year-old former student at Marjory Stoneman High School. while it remains unknown how he obtained the weapon or weapons used to carry out the massacre, Florida’s gun laws stipulate that 18-year-olds can legally buy firearms, and that no background check is necessary for private gun purchases if the seller is not a licensed dealer.
If the alleged gunman legally purchased his weapon, it appears to be a failure on the part of Parkland and Florida authorities, given the accused’s reputation among former classmates as being a likely school shooter. One Stoneman Douglas student said he and his classmates predicted the accused gunman would later come back to carry out a mass shooting in an interview with WJXT — a local CBS affiliate in Broward County, Florida.
“Honestly, all the people were saying that it was gonna be him… all the kids threw jokes around like that saying that he was going to be the one to shoot up the school, but it turns out, you know, everyone predicted it,” the student said. “He was on the third floor. He knows the school layout. He knows where everyone would be at as of right now… He’s prepared for this stuff.”
— Vic Micolucci WJXT (@WJXTvic) February 14, 2018
The Miami Herald reported Wednesday evening that the alleged shooter had been told that he wasn’t allowed to come onto campus with a backpack due to threats made to current students. Other local media outlets reported that the alleged gunman had firearms inside of his home. Cell phone video recorded during the shooting shows students huddled inside a classroom when multiple gunshots suddenly erupted in the vicinity (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT).
Cell phone video taken inside Douglas High School in #Parkland, Florida shows students hiding for cover while gunshots are heard in the background.
— Remove Trump Now (@KaniJJackson) February 14, 2018
The alleged shooter’s Instagram account also showed signs of a mentally disturbed man focused on obtaining firearms. One 2016 post showed a pump-action shotgun with the caption, “I plan on getting this but I need more information on it so if someone could give advice on how much I’m spending and background cheeks please to god let me know.”
Various lawmakers have called on Congress to take up new gun control legislation. While Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida) demanded Congressional action, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) offered condolences for the Parkland victims, but stopped short of calling for new legislation.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: As of February 14, 2018, Grit Post will no longer publish the names of mass shooters, and we discourage other media outlets from doing so in order to avoid contributing to future mass shootings by making killers famous.)
Michael Boone is a freelance journalist and columnist writing about politics, government, race, and media. He graduated from Texas Southern University’s School of Communication, and lives in Houston’s Third Ward.