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Florida Shooting, Zuma Out, A Plane Falls Apart Mid-Flight

Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Feb. 15

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At least 17 people are dead in a Florida school shooting

A former student of a South Florida high school stormed its campus armed with a semiautomatic assault rifle and opened fire, killing at least 17 people, according to authorities. The suspected shooter was later taken into custody.

Authorities identified the suspect as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz was carrying "countless" rifle magazines filled with ammo as he entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Police are still trying to determine what sparked the deadly shooting. The sheriff said Cruz had been expelled from the school over disciplinary issues.

Twelve people were killed inside the school and two died outside, according to Sheriff Israel. Another victim was found dead in the street, and two succumbed to their injuries at the hospital, he said. Another 14 people who sustained injuries in the shooting were being treated at hospitals. Five of them were listed in life-threatening condition as of Wednesday night.

Authorities said they would not be releasing the names of victims until all relatives had been notified, but the sheriff said a school football coach was among those killed in the shooting.

Follow our coverage as this story develops.

What we know about the suspected shooter

One former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas told us, “He was off. He was super stressed-out all the time and talked about guns a lot and tried to hide his face.” Another former student added that Cruz often said “how tired he was of everyone picking on him and the staff doing nothing about it.”

Identified as a threat

A math teacher at the school told the Miami Herald that Cruz had previously been identified as a potential threat to other students: “We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him.”

A student at the high school told a local TV station that “everyone predicted” something like the shooting and “threw jokes around like that, saying that he's the one to shoot up the school.”

The FBI was warned

In September, a YouTube user named Nikolas Cruz left a comment on a video stating, “I'm going to be a professional school shooter.” The video's creator alerted both the FBI and YouTube. Though the suspect’s name matches the YouTube user flagged, FBI officials would not say whether they have confirmed that the account belonged to Cruz.

Here’s everything else we know about the suspected shooter.


Embattled South Africa President Jacob Zuma resigns

Zuma resigned late Wednesday, just hours ahead of a deadline given to him by his party. Known as the “Teflon president,” 75-year-old Zuma was first elected in 2009. His party, the African National Congress, voted on Tuesday to demand his resignation. Following the vote, he had 48 hours to respond. Zuma addressed the nation late Wednesday night and announced that he was resigning “with immediate effect.”


Quick catch-up

Hedley: The band’s planned performance has been cut from an awards show after allegations on social media that the group engaged in inappropriate and predatory behavior with female fans, some as young as 14. Hedley released a statement praising “the bravery of those who have come forward with their own stories,” but denied the substance of the allegations.

You can say no: A school had to change a rule that students have to say “yes” when they are asked to dance, after parents pushed back against the policy. One mom said, “[It] sends a bad message to girls that girls have to say 'yes,' [and it] sends a bad message to boys that girls can’t say 'no.'”

Mysterious rings: Apple’s new HomePod speakers are leaving mysterious white rings on wood tables. The company recommends cleaning the surface with an oiled cloth.

Falling apart: These United Airlines passengers tweeted about their plane falling apart mid-flight, and it’s quite something. As you can imagine, travelers were alarmed to see parts of the plane fall away, before the flight made an emergency landing in Honolulu. The videos are pretty scary.


The Trump administration says it will fight against supervised injection sites

In his State of the Union address, President Trump pledged to fight the opioid crisis by “helping get treatment for those in need.” But Trump administration officials made it clear they reject one controversial emerging strategy outright: facilities where heroin users can inject the drug under supervision.

Three major cities — San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Seattle — recently approved drug injection sites, with San Francisco’s expected to open as soon as summer. A spokesperson for the Drug Enforcement Administration told us that agents may take legal action against the facilities because they’re federally prohibited.


This lesbian couple planned the same proposal at the same time

Sweetest surprise ever. This quote just about covers it: “When in the universe will there ever be two lesbians that want to propose at the same time, the same day, the same place, and the same way?”

Watch the video — it’s so, so sweet.


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Elamin Abdelmahmoud is a Social Media Editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto

Contact Elamin Abdelmahmoud at elamin.abdelmahmoud@buzzfeed.com.

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