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.
Just spoke to Broward School Superintendent. Today is that terrible day you pray never comes.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 14, 2018
Pray with me for some of the pastors in the Parkland, FL area: @eddiebevill @bradleyboyette @JimmyScroggins Sal Cavarretta, Larry Brister, Adam Alley, Jeffery Smith -- that they will "to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort they receive from God."— Trevin Wax (@TrevinWax) February 14, 2018
We're heartbroken to hear about the school shooting in #Parkland, #Florida. Please join us in praying for the students, family, staff, and entire community during this time of unimaginable loss. If you or someone you know needs prayer, please go to https://t.co/DK8pUkxQdU. pic.twitter.com/iQLRv6I2xC— Life.Church (@lifechurch) February 14, 2018
We pray for the students, teachers, and family members impacted by the tragedy at Marjory #StonemanDouglas High School in Parkland, #Florida. May the Lord provide comfort and strength to the entire community. #Psalm147_3— Pastor Jim Cymbala (@jimcymbala) February 14, 2018
angered to hear about the parkland highschool shooting. a tweet doesnt do much but we want to at least show our support to victims' families and also to the kids who made it through this evil. survivors will need so much support and the right resources to deal with this trauma.— paramore (@paramore) February 15, 2018
Prayers up for the Parkland high victims and their families— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) February 14, 2018
On a day when children and families should be celebrating love and peace, they are instead mourning another senseless shooting. At this time, we ask you to join us in prayer for healing, for affected families, for Stoneman Douglas High School, and for #Parkland, Florida.— Salvation Army USA (@SalvationArmyUS) February 14, 2018
Let's all continue to pray for the families, first responders, and everyone affected by this act of evil. https://t.co/5iOU3XELzz— BenhamBrothers (@BenhamBrothers) February 15, 2018
My heart is heavy over the school shooting in Florida. Keeping all affected in my thoughts & prayers.— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) February 14, 2018
Just spoke to Governor Rick Scott. We are working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2018
My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 14, 2018
Please watch. Please listen. Please, Congress, protect our precious children and grandchildren. Please. https://t.co/it3MFPkmpc— Kay Warren (@KayWarren1) February 14, 2018
Just seeing the news now about the school shooting in FL. So much senseless bloodshed in our land. So much pain. Only the Lord can heal us!— Dr. Michael L. Brown (@DrMichaelLBrown) February 14, 2018
We are so saddened to hear about the school shooting happening in Parkland, Florida! Let's take a moment to say a prayer for the students, their families and all those impacted by this tragedy. There is power in prayer!— Joyce Meyer (@JoyceMeyer) February 14, 2018
Christians, let's stop and pray right now for south Florida, for victims' families, and for police as they deal with this devastating wickedness.— Russell Moore (@drmoore) February 14, 2018
Please keep those affected by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in your prayers. https://t.co/KzJlGOLzCi— BGEA (@BGEA) February 14, 2018
Join me in praying for those in Florida. Our hearts break for those who have lost loved ones at Douglas High School today.— Dr. Robert Jeffress (@robertjeffress) February 14, 2018
I'm horrified by the reports coming from Parkland, Florida. Please take a moment to pray for the victims and first responders. https://t.co/scCIxQOnDA— Rep. Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 14, 2018
We will update this story throughout the night.
Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Join us on our podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!