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Two Hillsborough County students and one from Manatee County have been arrested on felony charges of making verbal threats against their high schools.

After last week’s school shooting in Parkland that killed 17 people, a lot of focus has fallen on the home where the confessed shooter was living. WLRN spoke with the father of that family about the young man’s mental health issues – and about issues of gun ownership.

Shackled and wearing a red jump suit, school shooter Nikolas Cruz made his first live appearance in a Broward County circuit court five days after he walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and fatally shot 17 people in the worst school shooting in Florida history.

Cruz, a slightly built teen, did not say anything and never looked up at the crowd from his seat at the defense table. It was a tense atmosphere — Cruz was surrounded by Broward Sheriff’s deputies as media members and other lawyers watched from the gallery.

Lawmakers, Scott Weigh Options After Mass Shooting

Feb 20, 2018

A second gun-related bill has been postponed in the Florida Senate in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a Parkland high school, as legislative leaders craft a multi-pronged response to the massacre and Gov. Rick Scott plans a series of workshops about school safety and ways to keep guns away from people struggling with mental illnesses.

Gun Control Could Become Key Issue In November

Feb 20, 2018

An aversion to gun-rights restrictions has been a bedrock of Republican campaigns in Florida —  a testing ground for model NRA-backed legislation — for years.

After a gunman killed seventeen students and adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, many politicians Tweeted out their thoughts and prayers. A couple of Southwest Florida congressmen Tweeted those sentiments, but many people, including constituents, commented that thoughts and prayers aren't enough this time. 

Following last week’s mass school shooting, about 100 Parkland students are expected to come to Tallahassee this week to speak to Florida lawmakers about gun control. It comes just as an NRA-backed bill was withdrawn from consideration. But, some may see the student’s gun control views as a bit “naive.”

Trio Of Bills Awaiting Governor Scott's Signature

Feb 20, 2018

A trio of bills are heading to Governor Rick Scott’s office this week - the final step before becoming law. 

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

The parents of a suspect in the random shooting deaths of four people have showed up late for a civil contempt hearing in Florida and have been placed on house arrest after refusing to cooperate with prosecutors.

Circuit Judge Mark Wolfe ordered the confinement of Howell Donaldson Jr. and Rosita Donaldson on Friday. Their 24-year-old son, Howell Donaldson III, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the October and November shootings of four people in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood.

Tim Fanning / WUSF Public Media

The University of South Florida Engineering Expo, a free two-day event that gives children a chance to see what it's like to be a scientist, is taking place this weekend. 

Full of hands-on exhibits and shows, the expo allows children to explore research labs, conduct hundreds of experiments, and even meet a robot named Baxter.

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

The FBI says that someone called its tip line to report concerns about Nikolas Cruz, who has told police he killed 17 people in a Florida high school this week — but that the bureau failed to follow protocols to assess the threat.

The bureau says a person close to Cruz contacted the FBI's Public Access Line on Jan. 5 to report concerns about him. Those concerns included information about Cruz's gun ownership, a desire to kill people, erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts.

Updated Feb. 16

The 19-year-old man who’s confessed to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people on Wednesday left a violent social media footprint. But the teens and adults who might have stopped him say they weren’t aware.

As students, staff and parents from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland gathered to grieve and comfort one another Thursday, the former student accused of killing 17 people was charged with murder and had his first appearance in court.

No bail was allowed for Nikolas Cruz, 19.

A Broward County Sheriff's Office report says Cruz confessed to being the shooter at the school.

According to the report, Cruz told interrogating officers that he "began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on school grounds" Wednesday. 

There are ways people can help the victims and families of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting, besides grief counseling services: 

The teenager accused of using a semi-automatic rifle to kill 17 people at a Florida high school confessed to carrying out one of the nation's deadliest school shootings and concealing extra ammunition in his backpack, according to a sheriff's department report released Thursday.

Nikolas Cruz told investigators that he shot students in the hallways and on the grounds of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, north of Miami, the report from the Broward County Sheriff's Office said.

When a gunman opened fire with an AR-15 at a large high school in south Florida, the 17 dead included students and school workers, young and old. Here is a look the 17 confirmed dead by authorities in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School:

COACH AND SECURITY MONITOR

Assistant football coach Aaron Feis was shot to death while selflessly shielding students from bullets. A tweet from the school football program ended: "He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories."

Shock was turning to anger and grief for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and their families on Thursday morning as they sought grief counselors’ help in processing the shooting that left 17 dead at the Parkland school the day before.

Read more: Resources Available For Grief Counseling For Those Affected By Shooting

Declaring the nation united and grieving with "one heavy heart," President Donald Trump is promising to tackle school safety and "the difficult issue of mental health" in response to the deadly shooting in Florida. He made no mention of the scourge of gun violence.

In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting that left 17 people dead, politicians on the state and national level are weighing in on what can be done legislatively.

Payday loan providers are asking for more options and extended repayments. They argue it will give borrowers more flexibility but opponents say it’s a trap for low-income borrowers. 

Florida lawmakers are continuing a push to get gambling legislation passed this legislative session.

A proposal that would allow some concealed-weapons license applications to be approved when background checks have not been completed was put on hold Thursday because of the deadly high-school shooting in Broward County.

When fire alarms blared for the second time on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, many students found it a little odd. They'd already had a fire drill earlier in the day, and were surprised to have another one with just 20 minutes left in their last class period.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Court documents say the suspect in the shootings at a South Florida high school has confessed to investigators. Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been booked on 17 charges of premeditated murder at Broward County's Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

A football coach who also worked as a security guard is among the dead in a school shooting that claimed 17 lives in Parkland, Florida.

The football program at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tweeted that assistant coach Aaron Feis died while selflessly shielding students.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

More than a dozen advocacy groups issued a warning about traveling in Florida on Wednesday, saying immigration arrests there have soared more rapidly in the past year than in any other area of the country.

Republicans in the Florida House are pushing for a nearly $350 million tax package that includes a new source of money for one of the nation's largest private school voucher programs.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF

Florida's cities and counties wouldn't be able to completely choose when they hold local elections under a bill passed by the Florida House.

The state would recognize the Florida Cracker cattle as the official state cattle under a bill passed by the House.

He preened with guns and knives on social media, bragged about shooting rats with his BB gun and got kicked out of school — in part because he had brought bullets in his backpack, according to one classmate. He was later expelled for still-undisclosed disciplinary reasons.

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