Marjory Stoneman Douglas High principal Ty Thompson released a message to his students this weekend expressing deep emotion in his first public appearance since Wednesday's shooting.
The gunman and former student Stephen Cruz, 19, opened fire with a semi-automatic AR-15 Wednesday killing 17 at the school before being arrested by authorities.
In the two minute video released on the school's website, Thompson expresses his sympathy for the victims and condemns the shooting as "an unthinkable act of violence."
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"My heart is breaking for the victims, families and our entire Stoneman community," Thompson said. "We lost 17 lives on Valentine’s Day. That’s supposed to be the international day of love."
"We’re going to take the love that we got lost on Wednesday, we’re going to spread that over the next days, weeks, months, maybe even years," he continued before taking a deep breath.
"The love you shared and continue to share will help us get through these trying times. And, Eagles, I promise you I will hug each and every one of you as many times as you need and I will hold you as long you need me to for all 3,300 of you and your families," Thompson said.
"We will get through this together. Our community is strong, our students are strong, we will persevere in these trying times." Thompson went on to thank students and staff for following school protocol and first-responders.
Finally, Thompson closes by saying, "As you can see in the media, my staff and my students are living our motto: Be Positive, Be Passionate and Be Proud To Be An Eagle. We are MSD Strong. Continue to send us your thoughts and prayers. And, God bless the Stoneman Douglas Eagle Nation."
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