President Donald Trump tweeted out support to victims of the latest school shooting to jar the nation – stating flatly that no child should ever have to feel unsafe at school.
'My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting,' Trump tweeted at 3:50 pm, as the tragedy in south Florida was still unfolding.
'No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.'
The president weighed in as it emerged that three students are dead and at least 50 have been injured in a mass shooting at a Florida high school where the gunman remains at large.
In a follow-on tweet, he wrote: 'Just spoke to Governor Rick Scott. We are working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting.'
Trump was briefed on the situation, according to the White House.
'The President has spoken with Governor Scott of Florida and offered federal assistance if needed,' said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement.
President Donald Trump tweeted out support to victims of the latest school shooting to jar the nation, this one in South Florida
'Department of Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen also spoke with Governor Scott as well as state and local officials. She has briefed the President on those conversations. The Governor, the Secretary, and other Administration officials will continue to keep the President updated.'
First lady Melania Trump, who visited with hospitalized near Washington, also tweeted about the shooting.
'My heart is heavy over the school shooting in Florida. Keeping all affected in my thoughts & prayers,' the first lady wrote. She was visiting a nonprofit at the National Institutes of Health that caters to sick children getting experimental treatments.
The White House cancelled its delayed daily press briefing. 'We continue to keep the victims, and their friends and family, in our thoughts and prayers,' Sanders said.
On January 24, Trump tweeted about a school shooting in Kentucky, but it took him more than a day after the shooting to do so.
Police are responding to the incident at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida
'Earlier today, I spoke with @GovMattBevin of Kentucky regarding yesterday's shooting at Marshall County High School. My thoughts and prayers are with Bailey Holt, Preston Cope, their families, and all of the wounded victims who are in recovery. We are with you!' Trump tweeted.
After that shooting, which led to two deaths and 18 wounded, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders got pressed on what policy moves the administration was pursuing.
She characterized the shootings as part of a crime wave that preceded Trump saying they 'certainly would be part of a crime wave that we are focused on addressing.'
First lady Melania Trump meets with children making cookies for Valentine's Day during her visit to the Children's Inn at the National Institute of Health, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. She tweeted about the school shooting after her event concluded
'The President believes that all Americans deserve to be safe in their schools and in their communities,' Sanders said. 'We've tried to crack down on crime throughout the country,' she added.
But she did not unveil new legislation or proposals, despite another mass shooting in Las Vegas. ''We'll be talking about gun laws as time goes on,' Sanders said, CNN reported.
Trump's Florida message came as police surrounded Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where the 'heavily armed' shooter, wearing a gas mask, opened fire with a 'long' gun at just after 2pm.
Cops confirm it remains an active shooter situation although there are reports that a student was seen fighting with the gunman in a classroom.
Police believe they know who the gunman is and describe him as a student and member of the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. Authorities said he was wearing a hoodie and has red hair and freckles.
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An injured student was loaded into the ambulance my multiple emergency responders
Students are reportedly barricading themselves into their classrooms, while others were seen running out of the building with their hands in their air as police and SWAT teams swarmed the school.
Those fleeing the school, in single file, each threw their backpack into a large pile and huddled together under trees across the street.
The school district stated that the shooting happened shortly before dismissal time when students heard what sounded like gunfire.
Desperate parents and relatives of students still locked down in the high school rushed to the scene to find out if their children were among the injured.
One mother, Michelle, whose daughter is inside, said there at least 20 students and teachers still barricaded in the school buildings. The unnamed mom said her daughter sent her a text that said: 'There's been a shooting in school ... and it's for real.'RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 2 Next Teen 'boasted to friends he hoped to kill up to 150 people... Three killed and five wounded as shootings mar Mardi Gras... BREAKING NEWS: Former student gunman shoots 'at least seven... Trump STILL won't publicly declare support for John Kelly –... FBI Director warns 'creative' China is now sending students... Share this article Share 743 shares
Speaking outside the police perimeter, she said: 'She was texting me up until about four minutes ago and now she's not responding and I'm getting nervous. Last she texted me she was in a building from across where the shooting was at. I'm on pins and needles because she isn't responding to me now.'
CBS Miami reporter Rick Folbaum said he was exchanging messages with a child still inside, who is hiding in a closet.
'I'm continuing to text with a student, a young girl who I know well, who is in the building right now who told me that she heard a loud noise and what sounded like gunfire, three shots', he said.
'She texted: All of a sudden there was a really loud noise…..people are crying the closet.'
Photographs taken by students inside the school show they are crouching behind piles of chairs and hiding behind desks.
There are reports that the shooter, wearing a burgundy shirt and black pants, may have fled the school, mixing in with the other students as they fled the building.
Video showed at least five people being treated by paramedics at the scene while students were led away from the school in a line. But reports show that many more were shot and injured.
The school remains on lockdown.
Coral Springs police have advised people to avoid the neighborhood while the active shooter situation is underway.
Majory Stoneman Douglas High School is located in Parkland, west of Boca Raton, in Florida
A victim lies on the ground outside the school where a responder gives them emergency medical aid
President Donald Trump has been made aware of the shooting.
White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement, 'The president has been made aware of the school shooting in Florida. We are monitoring the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.'
Police asked parents to tell children still inside to 'remain calm and barricaded until police come to their room'.
The incident comes just a few weeks after a 15-year-old boy opened fire at his rural Kentucky high school, killing two and injuring more than two dozen others.