The suspect in the Florida high school shootings has ties to New York.

Armed with an AR-15 rifle, Nikolas Cruz opened fire after setting off a fire alarm at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, police say.

At least 17 are dead. The victims include students and adults. Over a dozen are injured, many with life-threatening injuries. It's the third worst school shooting in U.S. history.

Cruz, 19, is a former student at the school who was expelled for disciplinary reasons last year, police say.

Nikolas and his brother were adopted by Lynda and Roger Cruz of Long Island, according to Miami Herald. The couple raised the boys in Florida.

Lynda’s sister in law, Barbara Kumbatovich of Long Island, told the Sun Sentinel she met Nikolas at a family funeral in New York.

On Thursday, Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Here are this week's Top 5 news stories from the Hudson Valley