PH sends condolences over Florida school shooting
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines sent its condolences to the United States on Thursday, February 15, after a shooting incident at a high school in Florida killed at least 17 students and wounded several others.
"We are deeply saddened over the loss of so many young lives in this shooting incident in Parkland, Florida," Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.
"Our hearts reach out to the families of those who lost their lives in this horrible tragedy," Cayetano added.
On Wednesday, February 14, in the US, a former student armed with an AR-15 rifle opened fire at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, killing at least 17 people.
The suspected gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, had been expelled for "disciplinary reasons" and described by fellow students as "troubled."
No Filipino has been reported hurt in the shooting incident, the Philippine embassy in Washington DC said.
Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said the Filipino community in Parkland has 2,800 members.
The shooting, one of nearly 20 at a school since the start of the year, will once again throw the spotlight on the epidemic of gun violence in the US, where there are 33,000 gun-related deaths annually. – with reports from Agence France-Presse / Rappler.com