Who is Nikolas Cruz, accused gunman in Florida high school attack?


Prosecutors have charged Nikolas Cruz with 17 counts of premeditated murder after he allegedly opened fire Wednesday at a Florida high school he was kicked out of last year.

Cruz, 19, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., was arrested off-campus about an hour after the shootings began, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. 

>> Read more trending news

Cruz surrendered without incident, Israel said. He was picked up about a mile from the school.

The shooting began around 2:30 p.m. at the large school complex located in Broward County in southern Florida. Cruz allegedly pulled the fire alarm to get students out of classrooms and into the hallways. Just that morning, the school had conducted a fire drill.

Many students said they thought they were having another drill Wednesday afternoon when the alarm sounded and most teachers told them to head out of their classrooms.

According to law enforcement authorities, Cruz was waiting outside of the rooms.

As the students left the rooms, Cruz began firing. 

Here’s what we know about Cruz now:

  • Cruz’s mother died in November. His father had died years earlier.
  • He and his brother were adopted.
  • He went to live with a friend’s family after his mother’s death.
  • A childhood freind of Cruz’s told CNN he would introduce himself as a “school shooter.”
  • Cruz had been expelled from school.
  • He legally purchased an AR-15 rifle about a year ago.
  • He had posted “disturbing” material on social media, according to Israel.
  • Buzzfeed is reporting that the FBI was warned about a YouTube user named Nikolas Cruz after he posted in September that he was “going to be a professional school shooter.
  • The Associated Press reported that the leader of a white nationalist group in Florida confirmed Cruz is a member. Later on social media, the leader said there was a misunderstanding and that Cruz was not a member of the group.
  • The Miami Herald reports that a teacher at the school said Cruz had been identified as a potential threat to fellow students in the past. Math teacher Jim Gard told the Herald, “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”
  • The shooting started outside the building, then Cruz went into the school and continued shooting.
  • Authorities said he walked out with other students after the shootings.
  • He had “multiple” ammunition magazines.
  • He had an AR-15 weapon
  • He pulled the fire alarm as he went into the school and then began shooting.
  • After the shooting, he left the campus, went to a Subway located inside of a Walmart where he purchased a drink, then went to a McDonalds where he was arrested without incident.
  • His attorney says Cruz has been placed on a suicide watch. 
  • Cruz’s arrest affidavit says he confessed to the shootings.

This story will be updated.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Food Bank’s dessert auction to aid local families
Food Bank’s dessert auction to aid local families

Desserts can help put food on the tables of needy local families this holiday season. Second Harvest Food Bank of Clark, Champaign and Logan Counties’ Ninth Annual Thanks for Giving Dessert Auction is a way to enjoy sweet treats while raising funds for the Food Bank’s Holiday Giving Campaign. The bidding will be 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20...
OSP: Man trapped inside truck for several hours, taken to Springfield Regional
OSP: Man trapped inside truck for several hours, taken to Springfield Regional

UPDATE @ 9:55 a.m.: A man was transported to Springfield Regional Medical Center this morning for unknown injuries after flipping over a bridge in a pick-up truck off W. County Line Rd.  According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the man was traveling westbound on W. County Line Rd., veered to the left, then flipped over the bridge around...
Columbus woman arrested on Live PD as porn blares in background
Columbus woman arrested on Live PD as porn blares in background

A Columbus woman was arrested on live television Friday by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, according to WBNS. The sheriff's office was featured on A&E's 'Live PD', a show that features law enforcement agencies across the country during their shifts.  During the show, deputies served a warrant for 23-year-old Storm Wisener. She was wanted...
Parents of Triad student want schools to do more in wake of suicide
Parents of Triad student want schools to do more in wake of suicide

Parents of a girl who committed suicide after alleged bullying filed a federal lawsuit against Triad Local Schools and say that it’s time for schools to handle bullying differently. Nationwide, about 30 percent of sixth through 12th-grade students reported being bullied, according to StopBullying.gov. In Clark County, more than one in five high...
Pike County investigation: 8 deaths and multiple arrests were tied to one key factor — child custody
Pike County investigation: 8 deaths and multiple arrests were tied to one key factor — child custody

Sophia Wagner is spending her fifth birthday today in the custody of Children Services. Her mother, Hanna Rhoden, and her mother’s immediate family were all murdered in their homes in 2016. Her father, Edward “Jake” Wagner, and his immediate family are in jail and charged with killing them. Investigators have revealed little about...
More Stories