TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff through Monday, February 19 to honor the victims of a mass shooting at a Florida high school.
“On behalf of Kansans everywhere, our hearts go out to our brothers and sisters impacted by the tragic act of violence in Florida yesterday,” said Colyer in a statement Thursday.
“When confronted with such evil, we must come together, turn our eyes towards what is good by serving our communities, our neighbors, and proving that love will always triumph over hate.”
The White House on Thursday issued a proclamation directing flags at all public buildings and military installations to be flown at half-staff to show America’s support the victims.
An orphaned 19-year-old with a troubled past and an AR-15 rifle was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday morning after being questioned for hours by state and federal authorities following the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in five years.
Fourteen wounded survivors were hospitalized as bodies were recovered from inside and around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Just before the shooting broke out, some students thought they were having another fire drill.
Such an exercise had forced them to leave their classrooms hours earlier. So when the alarm went off Wednesday afternoon shortly before they were to be dismissed, they once again filed out into the hallways.
That’s when police say Nikolas Cruz, equipped with a gas mask, smoke grenades and multiple magazines of ammunition, opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon, killing 17 people and sending hundreds of students fleeing into the streets. It was the nation’s deadliest school shooting since a gunman attacked an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, more than five years ago.
“Our district is in a tremendous state of grief and sorrow,” said Robert Runcie, superintendent of the school district in Parkland, about an hour’s drive north of Miami. “It is a horrible day for us.”