‘Nothing has changed’ since Sandy Hook – US journalist

Long Lunch 16/02/2018
Mourning after Florida shooting. Photo: Getty.

The Florida school shooting marks the 18th shooting in the US this year.

Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who had been expelled from his Florida high school, has been charged with 17 counts of murder.

He is suspected of unleashing one of the deadliest school shootings in US history.

Doug Phillips, a breaking news editor at the South Florida Sun Sentinel, joined Wendyl Nissen on The Long Lunch to discuss the shooting as a case study for the US’s shooting epidemic.

Mr Phillips points out that nothing” has helped protect children since the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012.  

Nothing has changed since then. Nothing.

The deadliest school shooting in US history was at Virginia Tech in 2007, when 32 people were killed.

The Florida shooting has further prompted the continuous US debate on the right to bear arms, which are protected by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.

Schools across the country have installed electronically secured doors and added security staff, but few legislative solutions have emerged.

"So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior," US President Donald Trump tweeted.

"Neighbours and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!"

The South Florida Sun Sentinel journalist pointed out that the big question is whether the shooter “slipped through the cracks” despite several red flags from his past.

“His game plan, it seems, was to never go down with the fire power,” Mr Phillips said.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told a press conference on Thursday (local time) that Cruz fled the school after the shooting.

Cruz attempted to mix in with students to hide as he visited fast food stores. He first bought a drink at Subway then went to McDonald's.

After he left the McDonald's he was identified and arrested by a police officer.

On Wednesday, Nikolas Cruz walked into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and opened fire on students and teachers, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said. Police believe he acted alone.

Cruz was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and had multiple ammunition magazines when he surrendered to officers in a nearby residential area, police said. He loved guns and was expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons, police said.

Listen to the full interview with Doug Phillips above.

Afternoon Talk with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.

This story was first published on Newshub.co.nz, with additions made by RadioLIVE.