"Nobody thought this could happen here"

Marc De Vlieger, the president of the Belgian Society of Florida, has responded to the killings at a secondary school in the state. Mr De Vlieger lives only three kilometres from the school where a former pupil shot dead 17 pupils. "Nobody thought this could happen here" he told VRT News.

The president of the Belgian Society of Florida was still at work when he received a telephone call from his wife alerting him to the incident. On his way home he saw police everywhere. "This is a big school with 3,000 pupils and a good reputation. A safe school too" he said.

"It took a while before we learned that there were seventeen victims. We are devastated. This is the greatest disaster in southern Florida and to happen on St Valentine's Day! It's the 17th or 18th shooting at an American school since the beginning of the year, in less than two months."