Thousands of people gathered in Parkland, Florida Thursday night for a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the second deadliest school shooting in US history.
Many at the vigil called for gun control as a 19-year-old man stood accused of killing 17 people at the Florida high school.
Officials said the suspect fled hidden in a crowd of frightened students and visited two fast food restaurants before he was arrested less than two hours after the massacre.
Authorities said the alleged gunman, Nikolas Cruz, stopped at a Wal-Mart, a Subway restaurant and a McDonald’s immediately after carrying out the shooting.
Cruz, who has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, is accused of using a legally purchased AR-15-style weapon in Wednesday’s attack, moving through Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland outside Miami. Cruz was a former student of the school who had been expelled.
Wednesday’s shooting was the 18th in a US school this year, according to gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety. It stirred the long-simmering US debate on the right to bear arms, which is protected by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.