PARKLAND, Fla. -- At least 17 people were killed Wednesday, Feb. 14 in a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The suspect, Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student is in custody, the sheriff said. Cruz was expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons, and police are investigating his digital profile, Israel said. So far, what they've found is "very, very disturbing," he said.
"The shooter wore a gas mask and he had smoke grenades. He went and set off the fire alarm so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall, and there the carnage began," officials said.
Captain Mike Bolender was one of the officers in charge when a mass shooter walked into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek in Aug. 2012. He said Wednesday the Florida shooting wasn't spontaneous and there are ways to give yourself a better chance at getting out alive if you ever find yourself in a horrific situation like that at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday afternoon.
Since the shooting on Aug. 5, 2012, which took six lives and left four others hurt, Captain Bolender has traveled the country to share his experience and learn from others.
"Right now our hearts and minds go out to those in Florida," Bolender said.
Wade Michael Page on Aug. 5, 2012 walked into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek and fatally shot six people and wounded four others before committing suicide by shooting himself in the head after he was shot in the stomach by a responding police officer. After the tragedy, Captain Bolender created "Peaceful Warrior Training," an organization dedicated to teaching life-saving skills in similar active shooter situations.
"These things do not spontaneously occur," Bolender said.
Bolender said mass shootings are preventable.
"There are things that are said. There are things that are done that are going to make people around them feel uncomfortable, and when those things are said, the idea is to have the courage to say something," Bolender said.
Those words were echoed by law enforcement in Florida Wednesday -- who encouraged those who see something, to say something.
"If anybody has any indicator that someone's going through a behavioral change, on their social media, if they have disturbing photos, perhaps bombs or firearms or just videos or pictures that are just not right, please make sure law enforcement knows about it," Bolender said.
Bolender said one of the best tips is to think through potential scenarios.
"Having an action script gives you a 48 percent better chance of survival. Just by thinking it through," Bolender said. "Right now, even though it is hard to imagine, schools are some of our safest places in our community -- but they truly are and statistically, your children are very safe in school."
Bolender's group holds classes to make sure you're prepared, but not scared. CLICK HERE for more information.