Nikolas Cruz has been identified as the shooter that killed at least 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in #Parkland, Florida on Wednesday.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Cruz was armed with an AR-15-styled semiautomatic rifle and “countless magazines.” Cruz also possessed a gas mask and smoke grenades.
Cruz intentionally set off the school’s fire alarms “so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall,” during the shooting, Nelson continued.
Cruz then reportedly tried to escape by blending in with other fleeing students. Cruz was later detained after the police identified him through surveillance videos. Nikolas Cruz was the transported to the hospital for labored breathing, has been the only suspect named in the shooting.
Though investigators are still looking at motives for the shooting, details on Cruz’s life have begun to emerge from fellow students and investigators.
Cruz was expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas for disciplinary reasons. A 17-year-old junior said he was expelled after a fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, the Associated Press reported.
Cruz is also believed to have posted images of his guns and made threats on social media accounts.
He allegedly commented nine months ago that he was going to kill law enforcement officials “one day” because they “go after the good people,” CNN investigative correspondent Drew Griffin said.
Another comment by Cruz reportedly said he wished “to kill as many as I can,” Griffin reported.
Pictures posted on an Instagram account believed to belong to Cruz revealed firearms, ammunition, and accessories, such as scopes, The Times reported.
Other images from the alleged Instagram account contained pictures of shooting practice sheets and a man wearing a hat imprinted with US Army’s logo.
Jim Gard, one of Cruz’s former teachers, said that he was told Cruz “wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” The Miami Herald reported. A student who attended the same alternative high school as Cruz said that he was known to have flaunted pictures of firearms on his phone.
“He shot guns because he felt that it gave him an exhilarating feeling,” the student said on WSVN-7 News. “He showed me personally through his phone.” “I didn’t want to cause any conflict with him because that’s the impression he gave off,” the student continued.
The student also said that he knew Cruz had guns at his home for two years.
WARNING GRAPHIC: Inside Stoneman Douglas High School, #Parkland Florida Shooting.
Let this sink in and tell me it’s not time for sensible Gun Control. Save your thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/WlJo1W8mKw
— James Parkley (@jnarls) February 14, 2018
“It surprises me the fact that this is going on today, but it doesn’t shock me that it was him,” the student continued. “It was an eye-opener.”
Another student who was assigned to a school project with Cruz said he had aspirations to join the military and enjoyed hunting, CNN reported.
“He always just seemed very quiet and strange,” the student said. “Just always to himself, never really tried to associate with anybody, but once given the opportunity, he liked to talk.”
— ABC News (@ABC) February 14, 2018
“I think she wanted to scare them a little bit,” Pasciolla said in The New York Times. “Nikolas has behavioral problems, I think, but I never thought he would be violent.”
Cellphone video shows SWAT team clearing a classroom at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida after shooting leaves at least 17 people dead. https://t.co/NvtVuOndFR pic.twitter.com/S30UkpZk9X
— ABC News (@ABC) February 15, 2018
Cruz’s adoptive mother, Lynda Cruz, reportedly had trouble with his behavior in the past. Lynda would occasionally contact the police to give him behavioral advice at their home, according to Helen Pasciolla, a former neighbor.
Lynda Cruz died in November 2017, according to Fort Lauderdale’s Sun Sentinel. Her husband died years earlier of a heart attack, leaving Cruz and his brother in the care of a family friend at the time of the shooting, people close to the family told the Associated Press.
Nikolas Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday morning following the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in five years.