Timeline: How the South Florida school shooting unfolded

Shooting began at end of day as students prepared to go home

PARKLAND, Fla. – A shooting in South Florida that has left at least 17 people dead, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office, unfolded at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday afternoon, as students were preparing to leave for the day.

  • The Broward County School District tweeted that close to the dismissal time (2:40 p.m.), students and staff heard what sounded like gunfire.  The school then went on lockdown.
  • At 2:53 p.m., the Broward County Sheriff's Office tweeted that it was investigating a report of an "active shooter" at the school, and that there were reports of victims.  Three minutes later, the sheriff's office told the public to avoid the area.
  • At 3:09 p.m., Gov. Rick Scott tweeted that he had spoken with the Broward County sheriff and school superintendent, as well as with the commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, regarding the school shooting.
  • At 3:15 p.m., aerial video showed lines of students leaving the school, some with their hands behind their heads.  One student who was still inside the school tweeted a picture from his classroom:
  • At 3:25 p.m., ATF reported that its agents from the Miami field office were responding to the school shooting scene.
  • At 3:50 p.m., the first reports emerged that the shooter might be in custody.  A city commissioner from Coral Springs, which borders Parkland and the school, confirmed to reporters that the gunman was in custody, and one person was dead.
  • 3:50 p.m.:
  • At 3:54 p.m., the school district tweeted that law enforcement officers were clearing the school one building at a time.
  • At 4:11 p.m., the Broward County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the shooter was in custody, although the scene was still active.  Aerial video showed a man in a maroon shirt on the ground, surrounded by law enforcement officers.
  • About ten minutes later, the sheriff's office tweets that there are at least 14 victims so far, although it was not specified whether those victims were wounded or killed.  Victims were being taken to two hospitals in Broward County.
  • One student, identified on Twitter as Aidan , who tweeted earlier that he was locked in a classroom, tweeted that he was out of the school as of 4:25 p.m.:
  • At 4:30 p.m., a school official tells the Associated Press there are "numerous fatalities" from the shooting.
  • Around 6:30 p.m., Broward sheriff Scott Israel announced that 17 people had died as a result of the shooting. Israel also identified the suspect as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.