Parkland, Florida Sheriff Asks for Prayers in Today’s Tragic School Shooting
Photo: Anxious family members await news of their loved ones. (CNN)
Our hearts are breaking tonight for the grieving community of Parkland, Florida where 17 people were killed this afternoon in a high school shooting. Sixteen others were wounded, five of them with life-threatening injuries.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is asking for prayer for his city and for those who have lost loved ones.
The suspect, 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, is in custody, Sheriff Israel said. Cruz was expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons, and police are investigating his digital profile, Israel said. So far, what they’ve found is “very, very disturbing,” he said.
This was the nineteenth school shooting in 2018 and it is only mid-February.
Sheriff Israel said Cruz entered the school on Wednesday afternoon just before the end of the school day with one AR-15 rifle and multiple magazines. The victims — 12 within the building, two outside the building, one on a nearby road and two who succumbed to injuries at the hospital —were both teachers and students.
Investigators believe the suspect pulled the school fire alarm in order to draw students out of the classrooms and get a higher death toll. Students said a fire drill earlier in the day added to the confusion, causing some to think it was a false alarm.
Along with asking for prayer, Sheriff Israel entreated the community’s cooperation to prevent future school violence.
“We continually ask everyone to put out the message ‘If you see something say something,'” he said. “If anyone has any indicator that someone is going through behavioral changes, if you see a disturbing photo, video, fire bombs or anything that is just not right, please make sure law enforcement knows about it.’”
- Heavenly Father, we ask YOU to pour out Your Spirit over the grieving city of Parkland, Florida tonight. God of all Comfort, we ask YOU to draw near to the Stoneman Douglas High School community and heal the broken hearts of the parents, families, and friends of those who have lost loved ones.
- Father, we ask YOU to heal those who were wounded and we pray for miracles for those whose lives still hang in the balance.
- Bring YOUR peace to the students, teachers and first responders involved in today’s school shooting and heal them from the deep trauma they’ve experienced.
- Lord, we lift before YOU the law enforcement who are working on the case. Help them find the information they need to bring closure and justice to this investigation. Harden the security breaches that need to be implemented to protect our nation’s schools from further shootings and other acts of violence.
- God, our Protector, help us in Arizona to be mindful to pray our students’ and teachers’ safety. We ask YOU to send forth YOUR guardian angels (Psalm 91) to protect the schools across our country, Jesus Name! AMEN.