On February 14, 2018, nineteen-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz shot and killed seventeen students and staff and injured seventeen more at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Prior to the shooting on January 5, a caller reported Cruz’s Instagram to the FBI, sharing a post that read, “I want to kill people.” Despite the call, an investigation was not conducted.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel’s timeline of the incident is cited in a CBS News article: “around 2:19 p.m. he (Cruz) took an Uber to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and entered the east stairwell, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. He had a rifle inside a black case, and after taking it out at 2:21 p.m., he began shooting inside the 1200 building into rooms 1215, 1216, 1214, and then he then went back into 1216, 1215 and 1214. Cruz then took the west stairwell to the second floor and shot one victim in room 1234 on the second floor. The suspect then took the east stairwell to the third floor ... he then dropped his rifle and backpack containing extra ammunition and ran down the stairs ... exiting building 12 and ran toward the tennis courts. The suspect then turned west and tried to mix in with students who were trying to run away fearing for their lives. The suspect then arrived at a Walmart store and bought a drink at the Subway and left the Walmart on foot. The suspect then arrived at a McDonald's around 3:01 p.m. and he left on foot. At 3:41 p.m., 40 minutes after leaving McDonald’s, the suspect was detained at 4700 Wyndham Lakes Drive by the Coconut Creek Police Department.” A few weeks after the shooting, a grand jury in Broward County, Florida indicted Nikolas Cruz on thirty-four counts of premeditated murder and attempted murder.

In the days after the shooting, a group of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School formed Never Again MSD, also known by the Twitter hashtags #NeverAgain and #EnoughIsEnough, a political action committee advocating for stricter gun control laws. In addition to Never Again, the shooting also inspired a nationwide demonstration called March for Our Lives, which was first organized on March 24, 2018 in Washington, D.C in collaboration with Everytown for Gun Safety. The mission of March for Our Lives is  to “remind the world that young people have the power to drive real change,” and to “create a movement that ends the [gun] violence and elects morally just leaders into office.”

At the first March for Our Lives, Emma González, one of the founders of Never Again MSD, activist, and gun control advocate, read the names of those murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Her speech lasted six minutes and twenty seconds, the same duration of the shooting: “Six minutes and about 20 seconds,” she said. “In a little over 6 minutes, 17 of our friends were taken from us, 15 were injured and everyone in the Douglas community was forever altered.”

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© 2019 Amye Archer + Loren Kleinman  |  PRIVACY POLICY