Yesterday, February 14th, a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It was the deadliest school shooting of 2018 so far, with 17 people killed. And today, February 15th, the Florida school shooter has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student of the high school, is being detained in jail in Broward County, Florida without bail. The suspect was arrested shortly after the shooting and was moved to jail the morning of February 15th, after being taken to the hospital because he was struggling to breathe.
The suspect opened fire on the school at about 2:30 p.m. ET. Cruz was armed with an AR-15 rifle, which he had obtained legally. Shortly before the shooting began, he reportedly incited chaos by pulling the fire alarm. In addition to the 17 dead, 23 people were reported as injured.
Broward County School District Superintendent Robert Runcie told the Associated Press that Cruz had not directly threatened the school before the shooting.
Cruz was expelled from the high school in 2017. According to the Miami Herald, Cruz was known for his obsession with weapons, and one teacher told the newspaper that school staff had received an email last year warning them not to let Cruz on campus with a backpack. Cruz’s apparent social media accounts feature many photos of the Florida school shooter posing with guns or knives.
The Parkland shooting is the deadliest shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, which killed 26 people. It is also the 18th school shooting in 2018 so far. Our hearts go out to those affected by this unspeakable tragedy.