Vigil held for victims of Florida school shooting

Some people openly sobbed as the victims' names were read aloud at the vigil near the school in Parkland on Thursday night.
Some people openly sobbed as the victims' names were read aloud at the vigil near the school in Parkland on Thursday night.
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At least 1,000 people have attended a candlelight vigil for the 17 victims of a school shooting in Florida.

Some people openly sobbed as the victims' names were read aloud at the vigil near the school in Parkland on Thursday night.

Dressed in the school's red colours, some held flowers while others wielded signs asking for action to fight school violence, including gun control.

"Kids don't need guns. No guns under 21," read one sign.

At one point during the vigil, some in the crowd began shouting, "No more guns! No more guns!"

The vigil started with a moment of silence for victims and candles were lit.

Ernest Rospierski, a teacher at the school, took several bracing breaths at the vigil as he talked to a reporter about the horror in the school halls.

"Bang bang bang - all of a sudden the shooting stopped," he said. "I looked down. He was reloading. I yelled run. And then I ran behind as many kids as I could."

An orphaned 19-year-old who participated in paramilitary drills with a white nationalist group has been charged with murder over the 17 deaths.

Nikolas Cruz legally purchased the AR-15 rifle used in the assault at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, law enforcement officials said.

A Florida judge ordered that the suspect be held without bail on 17 counts of murder.