PARKLAND, Fla. — A study released just last week by a national real estate website said Parkland, Fla., was the 15th safest city in America, based on FBI crime statistics.
The survey by NeighborhoodScout looked at the 100 safest cities in the country with a population of 25,000 or more.
Parkland, a city of some 28,000 people sits in northwestern Broward County, Fla., about 35 miles from Fort Lauderdale bordered by Lake Okeechobee to the north and the Everglades to the west.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of Wednesday's horrific shooting, was named for the legendary Florida environmentalist whose 1947 book The Everglades: River of Grass, changed the popular conception of what had been thought to be a worthless swamp.
With a median household income of $128,292, Parkland is far more affluent than most places in the country, where the median income is just over $55,000. Just 2.8% of families live in poverty, according to the Census Bureau.
The city is primarily a bedroom community, with many people working elsewhere in South Florida, but returning in the evening to homes with a median value of $600,000, according to the real estate website Zillow.
Landscaped subdivisions with monument signs, tree-lined medians and suburban shopping centers surround Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
On Thursday, the 19-year-old suspected gunman was booked into Broward County Jail on Thursday morning on charges of premeditated murder in the killing of 17 students and faculty.
Flags flew at half-staff outside Parkland City Hall. Inside the lobby hangs a framed autographed jersey of Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, a three-time All-Star who graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“Parkland and Coral Springs please stay strong!” Rizzo tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “This is out of control and and our country is in desperate need for change. I hope In this darkest of times back home this brings everyone together and we can find love. You’re all in my prayers.”