Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz appears in court – National


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The suspect within the Florida college taking pictures appeared in courtroom Monday for a procedural listening to about how authorized paperwork can be dealt with within the case.

Nikolas Cruz stated nothing when he made his first in-person look in Broward County Circuit Court docket. A earlier look had been by a video connection from jail.

Cruz, sporting an orange jail jumpsuit, stored his head down and didn’t seem to make eye contact with the decide or others within the courtroom, although he responded briefly to somebody on the defence workforce.

WATCH: College students go the place U.S. politicians don’t: attacking the NRA

The listening to involved guidelines that can govern how paperwork are sealed. Circuit Choose Elizabeth Scherer stated she was in favour of openness every time attainable.

Cruz is charged with killing 17 individuals and wounding many others in Wednesday’s assault at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty, which he as soon as attended.

His attorneys have stated he’ll plead responsible if prosecutors agree to not pursue the loss of life penalty. No resolution has been made on that.

The courtroom look got here after a weekend through which scholar survivors of the lethal Florida college taking pictures sought to turn out to be the general public face of a revived gun management motion. That may put them on a possible collision course with President Donald Trump.

READ MORE: Household who took in Florida college taking pictures suspect speaks out: ‘We really feel betrayed’

A number of of the scholars have criticized the president, whose election was strongly supported by the Nationwide Rifle Affiliation and who ran on a platform opposing gun management.

Trump spent the weekend at his property in South Florida, solely an hour’s drive from the highschool. His solely mentions of the bloodbath got here in tweets Saturday contending that the FBI was too targeted on the Russia investigation to answer warnings in regards to the suspect and mocking Democrats for failing to go gun management.

“You’re the president. You’re alleged to deliver this nation collectively, not divide us,” stated David Hogg, a 17-year-old scholar at the highschool, talking on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“How dare you,” he added.

After greater than a day of criticism from the scholars, the White Home stated the president would maintain a “listening session” with unspecified college students Wednesday and meet Thursday with state and native safety officers.

READ MORE: Florida scholar used his personal physique as defend to guard classmates

In the meantime, Florida politicians scrambled to provide laws in response to the Feb. 14 assault.

In a TV interview, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio embraced a Democratic invoice within the Florida Legislature to permit courts to quickly forestall individuals from having weapons if they’re decided to be a menace to themselves or others.

Gov. Rick Scott, additionally a Republican, attended a prayer vigil on the First Church Coral Springs, blocks from the taking pictures website. He’s anticipated to announce a legislative package deal with GOP lawmakers this week.

READ MORE: What we learn about alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz

Emma Gonzalez, one other scholar survivor, gave an impassioned speech at a weekend rally. On Sunday, she cited Trump, Rubio and Scott by identify in a warning to politicians backed by the NRA.

“Now’s the time to get on the proper facet of this, as a result of this isn’t one thing that we’re going to let sweep below the carpet,” she stated on Meet the Press.

WATCH: Protesters at White Home conduct ‘die in’ protest in response to Florida college taking pictures

In search of to extend stress for gun management, the scholars plan to go to the state capitol in Tallahassee this week to demand rapid motion. They’re additionally calling for anti-gun violence demonstrations in Washington and different cities March 24.

Organizers behind the anti-Trump Ladies’s March referred to as for a 17-minute nationwide walkout by academics and college students on March 14.

READ MORE: These have been the victims of the Florida college taking pictures

Chris Grady, a 19-year-old senior on the Florida college, was one in all a number of college students at Sunday’s rally close to the campus.

WATCH: New York gun proprietor destroys his gun in wake of Florida college taking pictures

“The children in Newtown have been too younger to know what occurred and have been too younger to have their very own voice,” Grady stated, referring to the 20 first-graders killed within the 2012 Connecticut college taking pictures. “We need to be the voice for these youngsters and hundreds of others.”

Not each scholar on the Florida college was calling for extra gun management. James Ciaramello, a freshman within the college’s JROTC program, was heartbroken by the bloodbath however skeptical that firearms laws may have prevented it.

“He’s simply tousled,” Ciaramello stated of Cruz, one other JROTC member.

“I imply, tighter gun management, it’s not going to assist. There’s all the time a method round it.”

Faculty and authorities data obtained Sunday present Cruz was recognized as developmentally delayed at age three and had disciplinary points courting to center college. In February 2014, whereas in eighth grade, he was transferred to a particular college for youngsters with emotional and behavioural points. He stayed there till 10th grade, when he was transferred to Stoneman Douglas. Final yr, Cruz was expelled.

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