Home / NEWS / Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder

Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder

The 19-year-old suspect in the Florida school mass shooting has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Nikolas Cruz was held at the Broward County Jail early on Thursday, still wearing the hospital gown he was given after being treated for breathing issues following his arrest.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Mr Cruz was a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which is a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. He is accused of entering the campus just before school was dismissed on Wednesday afternoon and opening fire on students and teachers.

Officials said another 14 people have been treated at area hospitals.

On Wednesday night it was revealed Mr Cruz had been expelled from the school for “disciplinary reasons”. As a disturbing history on social media became more widely known, fellow pupils spoke in the immediate aftermath of the shooting of his erratic behaviour.

In a tweet on Thursday morning, President Donald Trump suggested more could have been done to prevent the atrocity:

As news of the shooting emerged, Mr Trump had tweeted his “prayers and condolences to the families of the victims” of the terrible Florida shooting, adding: “No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”

Jim Gard, a maths teacher at the school, said that the teachers had reportedly been warned about Cruz. Another student interviewed on the scene by Channel 7 said the student had guns at home.

Nikolas Cruz was arrested shortly after the attack at his former school

Credit:
POLICE/BBC NEWS/GETTY IMAGES

“We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” said Mr Gard, who added that the former student had been in his class last year. “There were problems with him last year threatening students.”

Broward County Mayor Beam Furr told CNN the shooter was getting treatment at a mental health clinic for a while, but that he hadn’t been back to the clinic for more than a year.

Pupils at the school hid under desks and cowered in cupboards as the gunfire rang out on Wednesday afternoon.

The gunman managed to make it off campus before he was cornered and taken into custody in a townhouse at the Pelican Pointe gated community, in the Wyndham Lakes estate.

The death toll makes it the third-worst school shooting in recent US history after the Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook attacks. It is the 18th school shooting this year, according to campaign group Every Town for Gun Safety.  

Bill Bratton, the former chief of New York City police department, said the frequency of school shootings was “astonishing” – but that it had become “the new normal”.

Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/15/flordia-school-shooting-suspect-nikolas-cruzheld-17-counts-premeditate/

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