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At least 17 people are dead after a 19-year-old man opened fire at a high school campus in Parkland, Florida.

The suspect was Nikolas Cruz, a former student at the school who had been expelled. He escaped with fleeing students but is now in police custody.

As the attack unfolded students were forced to hide as police swooped in on the building.

It is the deadliest school shooting since 26 people were killed at Connecticut school Sandy Hook in 2012.

It is the sixth school shooting incident this year so far that has either wounded or killed students.