Just over 24 hours ago, an ex-student walked into his former high school in Parkland, Fla., pulled a fire alarm and began shooting with an AR-15 assault rifle. After the carnage, 17 people were dead and more than a dozen injured, some of whom are clinging to life in the hospital.
Here’s what has happened since — and what we’ve learned about Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who is accused of carrying out the slaughter.
- He bought the .223 caliber AR-15 rifle used in the shootings legally at a federally licensed gun store in Broward County, Fla, according to NBC News.
- A Florida judge has ordered Cruz held without bond on 17 counts of murder.
- The leader of a white nationalist group called the Republic of Florida has confirmed that Cruz was a member of the organization and participated in exercises with them. The group claims no part in the shooting.
- President Trump addressed the nation from the White House earlier today, saying “No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning. Each person who was stolen from us yesterday had a full life ahead of them. A life filled with wondrous beauty and unlimited potential and promise.”
- The president plans to visit the site of shooting to meet with families and work on coordinating a federal response to the attack.
- A person from Mississippi claimed he notified the FBI last year about a comment on a YouTube video by someone named “nikolas cruz” that said, “Im going to be a professional school shooter.”
- Cruz’s social media accounts made multiple references to weapons, killing animals and showed him posing with a handgun.
- Per the New York Times, Cruz appeared before a judge in Broward County via video conference with shackles around his hands, feet and waist. Asked whether he understood the circumstances in which he found himself, Mr. Cruz whispered two words: “Yes, ma’am.”
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