Florida shooting: Nikolas Cruz confesses to police
accused of killing 17 people at
a Florida high school on
Wednesday has confessed to the
shooting, police say.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, said he arrived on campus and began
shooting students before abandoning his weapon and escaping, according
to a court document.
He has appeared in court charged with 17 counts of
The FBI has admitted receiving a tip-off about the
suspect last year.
The attack, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in
Parkland, Florida, is the deadliest US school shooting since 2012.
"Cruz stated that he was the gunman who entered the
school campus armed with a AR-15 and began shooting students that he saw
in the hallways and on the school grounds," according to the court
He said he was carrying extra ammunition in a black
duffel bag and backpack, it said.
Mr Cruz then discarded his weapon in an attempt to
blend in and escape, the documents showed.
He was reportedly able to flee the scene undetected
before entering a Walmart and then a McDonalds, and was eventually
spotted by police and arrested one hour after the attack.
What do we know about the suspect?
Mr Cruz had been expelled from the school he has
confessed to attacking and some students said they had joked "he's the
one to shoot up the school".
One former schoolmate, Chad Reuters, told Reuters Mr
Cruz was an "outcast" who was "crazy about guns".
His interest in weapons was apparent on his social
media profiles, which Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said were
"very, very disturbing".
Two separate Instagram accounts, now deleted, purport
to show Mr Cruz posing with guns and knives.
What were the warnings?
After seeing a comment on a YouTube post last year by
Mr Cruz, user Ben Bennight contacted the FBI and spoke to
representatives for about 20 minutes.
Mr Bennight said the FBI contacted him again following
the school shooting in Parkland.
The FBI confirmed on Thursday that they were made
aware of the comment, adding that they had conducted "checks" but were
unable to identify the person behind it.
Meanwhile, maths teacher Jim Gard told the Miami
Herald that school authorities had emailed teachers about Mr Cruz's
"There were problems with him last year threatening
students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus," he said.
Who were the victims?
Details of the 17 victims are emerging.
The school's assistant football coach Aaron Feis was
taken to hospital after jumping in front of students to shield them from
bullets. His team tweeted that he had "died a hero".
Chris Hixon, who was the athletic director at the
school, was also confirmed dead by local media. In 2007 Mr Hixon, 49,
served as a US Naval Reservist in Iraq.
Teacher Scott Beigel died while trying to lock the
door, a student told Good Morning America.
Among the student victims so far identified are:
Alaina Petty, 14
Alex Schachter, 14
Martin Duque, 14
Gina Montalto, 14
Jaime Guttenberg, 17
Luke Hoyer, 15
Alyssa Alhadeff, 15
Carmen Schentrup, 16
Joaquin Oliver, 17
Nicholas Dworet, 18
Meadow Pollack, 18
On Thursday, thousands of people attended a candlelit
vigil to honour the victims. There were chants of "no more guns" as
speakers demanded tougher gun laws.
What the survivors saw
What's the reaction been?
In the wake of the shooting, politicians across the
ideological spectrum were quick to offer their condolences. But the
conversation soon turned to gun control.
Democrats, many of whom expressed frustration at the
levels of gun violence in the US, proposed increased regulation of
Florida's Democratic Senator Bill Nelson asked what it
would take "for enough to be enough".
In an emotional interview on CNN, the mother of one of
the victims called on President Trump to respond with policy.
"Do something. Action, we need it now. These kids need
safety now," she said.
Thousands of people attended a candlelit vigil to honour the victims
But many Republicans refused to be drawn into the
In his address to the nation on Thursday, Donald Trump
didn't mention the word "gun" or "firearm" once.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio said that it was too soon
to debate whether tighter gun laws could have stopped it.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz accused Democrats of
politicising the shooting.
"They immediately start calling that we've got to take
away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. That's not the
right answer," he told Fox News.
Courtesy : BBC News
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