Florida school shooting suspect reportedly confessed, hid extra ammo
PARKLAND, Fla. (WPEC) - The suspect in the Florida high school shooting reportedly confessed to the killings, according to the police report released by the Broward Sheriff's Office.
Nikolas Jacob Cruz,19, is being held at the Broward County Jail on 17 counts of premeditated murder. He appeared in court Thursday afternoon where a judge ordered him held without bond.
The booking report said Cruz confessed to the shooting and that he hid additional loaded magazines in his backpack until he got on campus to begin his assault.
Cruz told investigators he toss his AR-15 rifle to the side, along with a vest, and blended in with the fleeing crowd of students.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said the attacker then went to Walmart and McDonald's.
The Broward Sheriff's Office said it will do all it can to make sure the teen accused of killing 17 people in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland is convicted of all charges and "justice is served," Sheriff Israel said Thursday.
Our partners at the Sun-Sentinel say Cruz is on suicide watch in jail.
New information is coming in about Cruz. The Associated Press spoke to a leader of a white nationalist militia group who said Cruz is a member of the group. Jordan Jereb said he didn't know Cruz personally but said the teen acted on his own. Jereb also believed Cruz had trouble with a girl and believed the timing of the shooting on Valentine's Day is no coincidence.
In other developments, the FBI said it received information last year about a threatening comment on YouTube.
It read, "I'm going to be a professional school shooter." The FBI said investigators couldn't identify who posted it, or anything about a date, time or location.
Investigators say all families of victims have been notified. Authorities released the names Thursday evening:
- Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach, 37, Coral Springs
- Jamie Guttenberg, 14, Parkland
- Martin Duque Anguiano, 14, Parkland
- Gina Montalto, 14, Parkland
- Alyssa Al Hadeff, 14, Parkland
- Nicholas Dworet, 17, Coral Springs
- Luke Hoyer, 15, Parkland
- Carmen Schentrup, 16,Parkland
- Meadow Pollack, 18, Parkland
- Alaina Petty, 14, Parkland
- Chris Hixon, 49, Hollywood
- Cara Loughran, 14, Coral Springs
- Alex Schachter, 14, Coral Springs
- Scott Beigel, 35, Coral Springs
- Joaquin Oliver, 17, Coral Springs
- Peter Wang, 15, Parkland
- Helena Ramsay, 17, Coral Springs
President Trump spoke from the White House and said the nation is praying for the families and victims.
"To every parent, teacher and child, that is hurting so badly, we are here for you," said Trump. "We are all joined together as one American family. Your suffering is our burden also."
The president plans to visit the high school and also meet with the families of the victims. A schedule has not been finalized. Mister Trump is scheduled to be in Palm Beach County this weekend.
The day after the shooting began with a startling report about possible gunfire at North Broward Preparatory School. It led to all high schools in the district being put on a precautionary lockdown, according to Broward Schools and Coconut Creek Police. Authorities also evacuated the school. Police told CBS12 a teacher thought she heard gunshots and she texted someone who alerted authorities. The initial report, which came in at 9:36 a.m., was unfounded, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.
While at the school, the sheriff's office says a deputy accidentally discharged his gun at the school and injured his leg. He was treated at the scene. No one else was hurt.
VALENTINE'S DAY SHOOTING
The Broward County superintendent of schools told CBS News Cruz arrived on campus in an Uber, which Uber confirmed late Thursday afternoon.
As deputies with the Broward County Sheriff's Office responded to the school, they came in contact with hundreds of students fleeing the school. The sheriff's office said Cruz "concealed himself in the crowd" and ran out of the school.
One student bumped into him and recalled the chilling encounter.
"As I was speaking to him, he seemed very, um, he was very troubled in middle school, so as I was speaking to him, I said, 'I'm surprised you weren't the one who did it,' and he just gave me a, 'Huh?'" said Alexa Miednik.
Another student told CBS12 reporter Michael Buczyner that Cruz pulled a fire alarm to get students into the hallway before he opened fire.
The sheriff's office said deputies reviewed surveillance video at the school and identified Cruz as the suspect. Coconut Creek Police arrested Cruz in Coral Springs. Police had him evaluated at the hospital before taking him to jail.
The Associated Press reports law enforcement sources say Cruz legally purchased the AR-15 rifle used in the shooting a year ago.
Investigators identified all 17 victims by Thursday afternoon but their names have not been released. Aaron Feis, a football coach and security guard, is among those killed in the shooting.
Classes and activities at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been canceled for the rest of the week, according to the district.
However, a crossing guard showed up for work outside the school Thursday morning, perhaps as a sign of support.
Grief counselors are being dispatched to several locations in Broward County.
They include the Pines Trails Park Recreation Center and Amphitheater in Parkland; the Coral Springs Gymnasium; and the Coral Springs Center for Performing Arts.
Broward Health Systems said it took in 14 people from the shooting, including the gunman. Two victims died. Eight people remain hospitalized at Broward North. Three of those patients are in critical condition.
The American Red Cross opened a family resource center at Parkland Recreation Center located at 10559 Trails End in Parkland. The agency also donated 50 units of type O negative blood to area hospitals in response to the shooting. About 45 volunteers also responded to the shooting scene to assist local and state agencies.
OneBlood is also helping with the need for blood. The agency is requesting donations of O negative blood at any of its locations to replenish the supply.
A blood drive is being held at Cox Media at 2741 N. 29th Avenue in Hollywood until 7 p.m.
Investigators waited for a search warrant to get into a home along Loxahatchee Road near Parkland where Cruz lived for the last three months. He moved there in November after his mother died and he had no where else to live. The family says they helped out the 19-year-old because he knew another student at Douglas High who was a mutual friend.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office assisted in a search at a second scene at a mobile home park in Lantana. Sources told CBS12 reporter Chuck Weber the suspect may have lived there with his brother.
Gov. Scott says the Florida Department of Education is sending crisis management teams to Broward County. Broward College is offering student counseling and 24-hour support at (954) 424-6916.
The state See Something Say Something hotline is now active. The number is (855) FLA-SAFE.
The Salvation Army is working with the Family Assistance Center at the Broward Emergency Operations Center.
Attorney General Pam Bondi says the state will cover counseling, medical and funeral service for the shooting victims.
A GoFundMe campaign has been created by the Broward Education Foundation for the victims.
PROCLAMATION FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP
President Trump Thursday ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of the shooting victims. Mister Trump said on Twitter the gunman, previously expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, showed many signs of being mentally disturbed.
Our Nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones in the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated on February 14, 2018, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, February 19, 2018. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.