FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Multiple deaths were reported Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and authorities reported a suspect in custody.
Coral Springs Mayor Skip Campbell, whose city contracts fire service in Parkland, confirms there were "multiple fatalities."
Students and teachers in the locked down school were told to remain barricaded inside until officers reach them.
Samuel Dykes, a freshman, was on the third floor of the school when he said he heard gunshots and saw several bodies in a classroom.
SWAT told the class to keep their eyes forward as they exited the school, Dykes said.
At around dismissal time at 2:40 p.m., staff and students heard what sounded like gunfire and they enacted a "code red" lock down, according to the Broward School District.
"We are receiving reports of possible multiple injuries," said spokeswoman Tracy Clark.
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A television news helicopter report showed several people on gurneys being placed into fire rescue ambulances and groups of children walking across a road.
President Donald Trump "has been made aware of the school shooting in Florida," said deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters. "We are monitoring the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected."
Gov. Rick Scott announced plans to come to Broward County immediately. He spoke on the phone with Broward Sheriff Scott Israel, Broward schools superintendent Robert Runcie and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen, according to the governor's office.
There are 3,208 children in grades 9-12 enrolled at the school.
Parents at area schools — including Sawgrass Springs Middle School and Westglades Middle School — said they received texts that those campuses were locked down.
Jay Golden's daughter Rachel who was at the school when the first sign of problem came. Rachel, a senior, texted him that there was a "code red," a shooting, and she didn't know if it was real or a drill.
At 3 p.m. she still hadn't been evacuated from the building, but told her father she was safe with 40 other students and a teacher.
"She was crying, she's scared," said Golden, of Parkland. "She's been texting back and forth. She's OK at the moment."
"I'm freaking out," her father said. "This is crazy, this stuff shouldn't be going on in these schools. People are crazy. I don't know what goes on through these people's minds these days, it's a scary thing. It's one of those things — you don't want to put a metal protector and treat them like prisoners, but they have to figure something out. You put your kids in school and it's supposed to be a safe place, and this stuff happens all the time."
© 2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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