This is the 30th mass shooting in the U.S. this year.
A shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has left 17 people dead and 14 injured. Nikolas Cruz is in custody as the suspect who perpetrated the school shooting on Valentine’s Day with an AR-15 rifle. The AR-15 is an assault style weapon that is highly customizable. The AR-15 weapon has been used in multiple mass shootings including Aurora, Colorado, Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and Sandy Hook Elemntary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooting at the Florida high school has become the 18th school shooting in a month and a half, according to Everytown For Gun Safety. That is 18 school shootings in 45 days. Students at Cruz’ former high school say that they are not surprised that Cruz would commit a mass shooting at the high school. According to law enforcement officials and former classmates, Cruz’ social media accounts were filled with images of guns, knives, and animals he killed with BB guns.
“All he would talk about is guns, knives and hunting,” Joshua Charo, 16, a former classmate at the high school, told Miami Herald. “I can’t say I was shocked. From past experiences, he seemed like the kind of kid who would do something like this.”
According to Miami Herald, Cruz was expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for undisclosed behavioral reasons. Yet, student Victoria Olvera, 17, says that he was abusive with his ex-girlfriend and got into a fight with her boyfriend after they broke up. Olvera also said that Cruz was expelled last school year.
Cruz and his biological brother were adopted by Lynda and Roger Cruz, a couple from Long Island, New York, who raised the boys in Parkland, Florida. Roger died in 2005 of a heart attack and Lynda died in November from pneumonia brought on by the flu. After the death of his mother, a family friend took the two boys into their home, according to Miami Herald. The family that took him in knew about his AR-15 but made him keep it locked in a gun safe. He was given a key for the safe.
Nikolas has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the white supremacy group Republic of Florida admits that Nikolas was part of the organization.
This is an ongoing story. Check back to mitú as the story continues to develop.