17 people dead following shooting at south Florida high school

The local sheriff's office said the suspected shooter is in custody

17 people dead following shooting at south Florida high school

In this frame grab from video provided by WPLG-TV, students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., evacuate the school following a shooting, Wednesday. Picture by: AP/Press Association Images

Updated 23.45

A local sheriff has said 17 people were killed in a shooting at a high school in south Florida.

A suspected shooter has been taken into custody, and the sheriff said the suspect was not a current student at the school.

Broward Sheriff's Office said deputies were attending the scene at Stoneman Douglas High in the city of Parkland.

Local schools superintendent Robert Runcie confirmed to reporters there have been numerous fatalities, in what he described as an 'horrific situation'.

Sheriff Scott Israel later confirmed 17 people had died.

Sheriff Israel said: "It's catastrophic. There really are no words."

Police initially said the shooter was still at large, but later confirmed a 19-year-old man was in custody.

In a statement, local school officials said: "Today, close to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s dismissal, students and staff heard what sounded like gunfire.

"The school immediately went on lockdown but is now dismissing students. We are receiving reports of possible multiple injuries. Law enforcement is on site."

Footage from local media showed the school surrounded by police and students being evacuated from the scene.

President Trump said his 'prayers and condolences' were with the families of the victims, adding that he and Florida Governor Rick Scott were 'working closely with law enforcement' following the shooting.