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Some Floridians Seek God for Healing, Others Say 'It's Not About Thoughts and Prayers Anymore'


PARKLAND, Florida — The south Florida high school massacre is sparking increased calls for less firepower, but it also sent many people to their knees this weekend, turning to God for answers.

Deputies with the Broward County Sheriff's Department are still gathering evidence at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School here in Parkland. Several parents told CBN News they never want their kids to step foot inside the freshman building again, saying they want it torn down and a memorial be constructed near the site.

Meanwhile, many of the funerals of the 17 victims are starting to take place.

Many Turning to God for Strength

Surviving students say they are relying on their faith to get through this tragedy.
On Sunday, church leaders throughout the Parkland area relied on the word of God to help bring healing, in the aftermath of the deadly shooting.

"I'm heartbroken," Pastor T.J. McCormick of Coastal Community Church said. "But God also gives us the courage along with strength to get us through this tragedy."

"The motto of our church is to love God, love people and show it," Coastal Community Church member David Petley told CBN News. "This is an opportunity to put that face out there."

"Some of us lost friends," said Yvena Clerge, also a church member. "Some of us love neighbors. We are hurting. We are here to consult one another."

President Trump Visits Victims and Hospital Staff

On Saturday, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited Broward Health North Hospital in Florida to meet with survivors and the hospital staff.

"It's a fantastic hospital, and they have done an incredible job," the president said. "The doctor was amazing. We saw numerous people and incredible recovery."  

Why Did the FBI Miss Tip on Suspected Shooter?

President Trump also suggested the FBI was "spending too much time" on the Russia investigation when it failed to follow up on a tip about a man who would go on to kill 17 people at a Florida high school this week.

"Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable," Trump wrote in a tweet.

"They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. There is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!" the president wrote.

Thousands Gather for Anti-Gun Rally

Trump's visit sparked angry demonstrations which gathered outside the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, calling on lawmakers to change the nation's gun laws.

"It's not about thoughts and prayers anymore," said Emma Gonzalez, a surviving student said. "It's about changing laws."

READ: Ben Carson on School Shootings: 'We Know How to Protect Everybody Else – Why Can't We Protect Kids?'

Plans have been announced for a massive rally against school and gun violence in Washington, DC, March 24, with smaller rallies and protests in cities scheduled around the U.S.

"I just know we must prioritize lives over guns," said Dylan Redshaw, a high school senior.

Confessed Gunman Wants Death off the Table

Meanwhile, alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz, 19, has confessed to the shooting, according to a police affidavit.

His state-appointed defense attorney said Friday that Cruz is willing to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of life without parole.

Cruz Posted Videos Cutting Himself

CBN News has uncovered new details about Cruz. Court records show he was unstable and violent to himself. He posted several social media video's showing him cutting himself.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said his office had received more than 20 calls about Cruz in the past few years.

Israel also said his deputies recovered several cell phones belonging to Cruz and said they paint a much more detailed picture about him.

However, the sheriff would not elaborate.

"At the end of day, make no mistake about it, America, the only one to blame for this killing is the killer himself," Israel said.

FBI: 'We Messed Up'

The update came the same day the FBI admitted it had received a tip on Jan. 5 about Cruz, but failed to properly investigate it.

The tip was not forwarded to the FBI's Miami field office and no further investigation was conducted, according to the FBI.

"We truly regret any additional pain that this has caused," said Robert Lasky, FBI special agent in charge of the Miami Division.

The news of this discovery  has angered many.

"Seventeen innocent lives were taken from us, because they failed to do this," said high school senior Jose Iglesias. "The FBI failed our school and failed Parkland."

FBI Director Christopher Wray said he's still gathering information and he's committed to finding out what happened.

Meanwhile, Christians in south Florida say they will rely on Jesus and prayer to heal.



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