Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire in his alma mater, slaughtering 17 people before police apprehended him.
According to Reuters, 12 of the dead were killed inside the school building, two others just outside, one more on the street and two other victims died of their injuries at a hospital, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said. He said the victims comprised a mixture of students and adults.
Prayer was on the front lines immediately following the incident. Here’s what faith leaders are saying:
Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
Today our nation’s attention is on Broward County, Florida, and the news of multiple fatalities at Parkland High School. As parents, every time we hear the terrible news of another school shooting, Eva and I are heartbroken and deeply troubled for our country. Our hearts and prayers are with the parents and family members of those children who have lost their lives.
Let every American stop what he or she is doing, and call out to God on behalf of all America’s students, that God would spare our nation of ever again having to mourn such a senseless loss of life at our children’s schools.
Pastor Paula White, pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida:
It is horrifying to once again be grieving another school shooting with multiple lives lost, this time at a high school in Parkland, Florida, my own home state. As a mother and a grandmother, I grieve for the victims who have had their lives and futures stolen from them, and for the families who are left to cope with the aftermath of this terrible tragedy. We pray that God would be close to the brokenhearted, as He promises us in scripture He will be, and that the community of Parkland will be comforted in their time of need.
Pastor Greg Laurie serves as the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California:
Only three weeks after a fatal school shooting in Kentucky, our hearts are broken once again by news of yet another, this time in Broward County, Florida, with multiple lives lost. We mourn with the parents and families who have lost their beloved children, and for the community of Parkland, Florida, that has just had its world turned violently upside down.
Students should never be afraid to step onto their school’s campus, and parents should never have to see images of their children fleeing the scene of a shooting on the news. Let us pray for God’s comfort for all the victims and let us never grow tired of praying that these types of mass shootings will one day soon come to an end in America.