WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Nikolas Cruz was expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last school year for “disciplinary reasons.”
- The 19-year-old returned to the school to take revenge, armed with an AR-15-style rifle, several magazines of ammunition, and smoke grenades.
- Cruz open fired into hallways and classrooms, killing 17 students and faculty on Valentine’s day, committing one of the worst mass shootings in US history.
Nikolas Cruz is a “broken child” who suffered brain developmental problems and depression, according to public defender Melissa McNeil, his attorney. After killing 17 people and injuring at least 15 more, he dropped his semiautomatic weapon and escaped by blending in with terrified students.
The shooter went to a nearby Walmart to buy a drink and then proceeded to McDonald’s. About 40 minutes after leaving the fast food restaurant, he was confronted by a police officer and taken into custody, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Cruz.
On Thursday morning, the teen was brought to the Broward County jail and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. And according to court papers filed Thursday afternoon, Cruz confessed detectives that “he was the gunman who entered the school campus . . . and began shooting students he saw in the hallways.”
The arrest affidavit says: “Cruz stated that he brought additional loaded magazines to the school campus and kept them hidden in a backpack until he got on campus to begin his assault.”
Cruz was held without bond on 17 counts of murder as ordered by Judge Kim Theresa Mollica.
Chief Assistant Public Defender Gordon Weekes described the boy as a “deeply troubled child who has endured a lot of emotional trauma in a short period of time. He began spiraling downward following the death of his mother in November.”
Cruz triggered a fire alarm in a building where freshmen students usually have their classes. He roamed the building’s three-floor corridors shooting students pouring into hallways.
One of the fatalities was Aaron Feis, Assistant Football Coach and security guard, who shielded students to protect them.
A police official told the Associated Press that the shooter legally bought his AR-15 rifle about a year ago. The school will remain closed as an investigation continues.
Jim Gard, a Math teacher, told The Miami Herald that he believes the school’s administration sent out a warning about Cruz via email, stating that he shouldn’t be allowed on campus with a backpack.
Gov. Rick Scott met with the victims’ families on Wednesday night. He said he would meet with lawmakers in Tallahassee to find solutions on how to keep individuals with mental illness from purchasing weapons.
“If someone is mentally ill, they should not have access to a gun,” the governor said.
Source: USA Today