Police have identified the gunman behind a fatal shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as a student at the school and a member of the US Army’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program. The alleged shooter is reportedly alive and in police custody.
The suspect was described as a male with red hair wearing a burgundy hoodie. The gunman began shooting just after 2 p.m. local time and was confirmed to be in police custody at about 4 p.m. At least one death and 14 injuries have been confirmed, with early reports claiming at least seven deaths and as many as 50 people injured.
JROTC is a federal program where the US armed services attempt to “instill in students… the values of citizenship, service to the United States and personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.” The organization is structured similarly to the military, with ranks and uniforms.
It is also one of the most effective recruiting tools for the US military, with between 30 to 50 percent of program graduates going on to join the armed services. An estimated 310,000 high schoolers in the US participate in the program every year.