Nikolas Cruz jumped out of an Uber automobile and walked towards constructing 12 of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College, carrying a black duffel bag and a black backpack. A person inside the varsity noticed Cruz and knew he was a former scholar, a troubled child. He radioed a co-worker, and inside a minute heard gunshots.
The 19-year-old was sporting a maroon shirt, black pants and a black hat. The person, whose identify was blacked out from a sheriff’s affidavit, informed detectives Cruz was shifting “purposefully.”
Cruz slipped into the constructing, entered a stairwell and extracted a rifle from his bag, authorities mentioned. He shot into 4 rooms on the primary flooring — going again to spray bullets into two of the rooms a second time — then went upstairs and shot a single sufferer on the second flooring. He ran to the third flooring, the place in keeping with a timeline launched by the Broward County Sheriff’s Workplace, three minutes handed earlier than he dropped the rifle and backpack, ran again down the steps and shortly blended in with panicked, fleeing college students.
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Florida State Sen. Invoice Galvano, who visited the third flooring, mentioned authorities informed him it appeared that Cruz tried to fireplace point-blank out the third-floor home windows at college students as they have been leaving the varsity, however the home windows didn’t shatter. Police informed Galvano that it was not that troublesome to open the home windows.
“Thank God he didn’t,” Galvano mentioned.
From the time Cruz entered the constructing till the time he left, solely six minutes handed. Throughout that transient time, he shot greater than two dozen folks, together with 17 fatally.
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After the rampage, he walked to a Walmart and purchased a drink at a Subway restaurant, then went to a McDonald’s.
About 40 minutes later, a deputy noticed him strolling down a suburban South Florida avenue and grabbed him. He didn’t put up a struggle.
The main points of Wednesday’s carnage on the Parkland, Florida, highschool emerged a day later from witnesses and regulation enforcement stories.
Among the many useless: assistant soccer coach Aaron Feis, slain whereas shielding college students from bullets; Joaquin Oliver, a scholar recognized for his distinctive look and who as soon as dyed his hair bleach-blonde with tiger stripes; Alyssa Alhadeff, an avid soccer participant and scholar; and 35-year-old geography instructor Scott Beigel, who helped college students enter a locked classroom, solely to be shot himself.
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Amongst at the least 1,000 folks attending a candlelight vigil close to the varsity Thursday night time, some brazenly sobbed because the victims’ names have been learn aloud. At one level, folks started chanting, “No extra weapons! No extra weapons!”
Dressed within the faculty’s crimson colour, some held flowers whereas others wielded indicators asking for motion to struggle faculty violence, together with gun management.
“Children don’t want weapons. No weapons underneath 21,” learn one signal.
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Ernest Rospierski, a instructor on the faculty, took a number of bracing breaths on the vigil as he talked to a reporter in regards to the horror within the halls.
“Bang bang bang – rapidly the capturing stopped,” he mentioned. “I seemed down. He was reloading. I yelled run. After which I ran behind as many children as I may.”
Authorities haven’t described any particular motive, besides to say that Cruz had been kicked out of the highschool, which has about three,000 college students and serves an prosperous suburb the place the median dwelling value is almost $600,000. College students who knew him described a unstable teenager whose unusual habits had brought on others to finish friendships.
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Cruz was ordered held with out bond at a quick courtroom listening to. He wore an orange jumpsuit along with his palms cuffed at his waist. His public defender didn’t contest the order and had her arm round Cruz through the brief look. Afterward, she referred to as him a “damaged human being.”
Cruz was underneath a suicide watch, mentioned Govt Chief Public Defender Gordon Weekes.
Wednesday’s capturing was the 17th incident of gunfire at a U.S. faculty this yr. Of those, one concerned a suicide, two concerned lively shooters who killed college students, two concerned folks killed in arguments and three concerned individuals who have been shot however survived. 9 concerned no accidents in any respect.
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Officers have been investigating whether or not authorities missed different warning indicators about Cruz’s probably violent nature.
He had been expelled from the varsity for “disciplinary causes,” mentioned Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who mentioned he didn’t know the specifics.
One scholar mentioned Cruz had been abusive to his ex-girlfriend and that his expulsion was over a struggle along with her new boyfriend.
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Two federal regulation enforcement officers mentioned the Smith & Wesson M&P15 .223 was bought legally at Dawn Tactical Gear in Florida.
Cruz handed a background examine and legally bought the assault weapon in February 2017, a regulation enforcement official accustomed to the investigation informed The Related Press. The official was not approved to debate the data publicly, and spoke on situation of anonymity.