The Latest: Students meet with state leaders after shooting
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the deadly Florida school shooting (all times local):
Students from the Parkland, Florida, high school where 17 people were killed in a shooting rampage got little sleep as they prepared for a day of meeting with Florida’s legislative leaders in Tallahassee.
The contingent of about 100 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students traveled to the state capitol by bus from South Florida, arriving Tuesday night at Leon County High School, where they were greeting by fellow students.
They spent the night at the Leon County Civic Center. Democratic State Sen. Lauren Book, who paid for the bus trip, traveled with the students and stayed with them at the civic center. She said they were up until almost 5 a.m. preparing for remarks they want to make during the meetings with lawmakers as they push to ban the assault-style rifle used to kill 17 people at the high school in suburban Fort Lauderdale.
On Wednesday morning, they made the short walk to the capitol to meet with leaders, including Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran. The group will return home later Wednesday.
The day before 17 people were gunned down at a Florida school, a co-worker says the suspect made plans to go with him to a shooting range.
Brian Halem tells the Miami Herald he asked 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz for his phone number last Tuesday so they could coordinate a weekend trip to Gun World of South Florida. “Save it as, ‘Crazy Nick,’” Cruz told his new friend.
Halem, a 19-year-old college freshman, worked with Cruz at the Dollar Tree in Parkland and says they bonded over enthusiasm for firearms. He describes Cruz — now charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder — as a “walking dictionary” who “knew guns inside and out.”
In hindsight, Halem says conversations about tactics like wearing a gas mask during a firefight might have been a red flag. But Halem says he was shocked by the shootings.
Students who survived the Florida school shooting are preparing to flood the Capitol pushing to ban the assault-style rifle used to kill 17 people, vowing to make changes in the November election if they can’t persuade lawmakers to change laws before their legislative session ends.
About 100 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students arrived at a Tallahassee high school to extended applause late Tuesday after a nearly eight-hour trip.
Despite their enthusiasm and determination, the students and their supporters aren’t likely to get what they really want: a ban on AR-15s and similar semi-automatic rifles. Republican lawmakers are talking more seriously about some restrictions, but not a total ban.
Some restrictions could include raising the minimum age to purchase the weapon to 21 and creating a waiting period.
Follow the AP’s complete coverage of the Florida school shooting here: https://apnews.com/tag/Floridaschoolshooting .