Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting: Updated

There has been a Valentine's Day school shooting on February 14, 2018.

10th Anniversary

This latest school shooting occurred on the 10th anniversary of the Northern Illinois University shooting, which was a school shooting that took place on February 14, 2008, at Cole Hall, Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. Steven Kazmierczak opened fire with a shotgun and three pistols in a crowd of students on campus, killing five students and injuring an additional 17 people, before fatally shooting himself. (See also, 1, 2, 3, and 4.)

On February 14, 2018, at approximately 2:20 p.m. EST, a shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. There is a report that the shooting occurred concurrently or soon after a fire drill. At least 20 people were reportedly injured, with fatalities. Some of these include teachers, apparently.

By the end of the day, seventeen students and teachers were said to have died in the attack.

The shooter has been arrested. His name was first reported to be Nicolas Cruz, 19, a former student at the Parkland high school. He was a member of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps. He was said to have watched YouTube videos yesterday on how to make a bomb.

Late on Wednesday, the correct name was said to be Nikolas de Jesus Cruz.

Nicholas/Nicolas/Nick Name Game

Jim Brandon, author of Weird America (1978) and The Rebirth of Pan (1983), emailed me on April 10, 2012 (source),
I wanted to add a couple of candidates to the Names of Power list – which I’ve probably mentioned before: that would be Nicholas and permutations (from Old Nick and Santa Claus up), and U.S. presidential names.

Nicholas does have some interesting connections:
Nicholas = English and Dutch: from the personal name (Greek Nikolaos, from nikān "to conquer" + laos "people"). Forms with -ch- are due to hypercorrection. The name in various vernacular forms was popular among Christians throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, largely as a result of the fame of a 4th-century Lycian bishop, about whom a large number of legends grew up, and who was venerated in the Orthodox Church as well as the Catholic. In English-speaking countries, this surname is also found as an Americanized form of various Greek surnames such as Papanikolaou "(son of) Nicholasthe priest" and patronymics such as Nikolopoulos.

For years, Brandon has noted the Nicholas/Nicolas/Nick name game. For example, in 2012, he wrote:
I suppose y’all noticed that the successful walk over Niagara Falls brought a hot name-of-power into play, in this case Nervous Nick, which seems to be running a close second to Fateful Fay these days.
Cruz is a surname of Iberian origin, first found in Castile, Spain, but later spread throughout the territories of the former Spanish and Portuguese Empires. In Spanish and Portuguese, the word cruz means "cross," either the Christian cross or the figure of transecting lines or ways.

Jesus is the English form of Ιησους (Iesous), which was the Greek form of the Aramaic name יֵשׁוּעַ (Yeshu'a). Yeshu'a is itself a contracted form of Yehoshu'a. Yeshua ben Yoseph, better known as Jesus Christ, was the central figure of the New Testament and the source of the Christian religion. The four gospels state that he was the son of God and the Virgin Mary who fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. He preached for three years before being crucified in Jerusalem.

The School

The school day at Stoneman Douglas High School ends a 2:40 p.m., according to the school's website. The first tweet from the Broward Sheriff's Office about reports of the shooting came at 2:53 p.m. ET.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was named after the Everglades environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas. The school opened in 1990 with students in grades 9 though 11, most of whom transferred from nearby schools Coral Springs High School and J. P. Taravella High School. The first senior class graduated in 1992.

About 2,000 students are enrolled at Stoneman Douglas High School.

Parkland is a city in Broward County, Florida, United States, where zoning laws are designed to protect the "park-like" character of the city. Initially, there were no stores or traffic lights in Parkland, though this began to change in the mid 1990s and early 2000s with the additions of large neighborhood developments like Heron Bay and Parkland Isles. As of the 2010 census, the population of Parkland was 23,962. Parkland is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,012,331 people in 2015.


Maria Rigel said...

The name was reported originally as Nikolaus, at least according to the Twitter feed of the sheriff. Nikolas is a rather unusual spelling. I googled for it and apart from Nikolas Cruz there were very few other pages. I found an interesting one from a professor Nikolas Rose, though.

Daniel Sale said...

David Bowie's last song "Valentine's Day" was meant to be from the perspective of a school shooter. So days after the "Star Man" was put into orbit by Tesla we have the "Stone Man" massacre.