PARKLAND, Fla. (KDKA/AP) – The 19-year-old suspect in a deadly school shooting in Florida has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Nikolas Jacob Cruz was booked into the Broward County Jail early Thursday, still wearing the hospital gown he was given after being treated for labored breathing following his arrest. He was later questioned overnight before being booked into jail.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz was a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which is a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. He is accused of entering the campus just before school was dismissed on Wednesday afternoon and opening fire on students and teachers.
Cruz, who is listed at 5-foot-7 and 131 pounds, is being held without bond. Jail records don’t list an attorney for him.
Cruz was captured in a quiet neighborhood about two miles from the school. The arresting officer says the suspect looked like “typical high school student” walking from school.
Officials held a press conference Thursday morning to provide updates on the investigation.
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Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he’ll sit down with state leaders and work on how they can make sure people with mental illness aren’t able to get guns.
Scott said leaders will look at how they can make sure something like that never happens again.
FBI agent Rob Lasky says the FBI investigated a 2017 YouTube comment that said “I’m going to be a professional school shooter”; but the agency couldn’t identify the person making the comment.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said there was an armed officer on campus at the time of a deadly high school shooting.
Israel said the officer never encountered the suspect during the attack.
Watch President Trump’s Full Remarks:
President Donald Trump issued a proclamation Thursday honoring victims of the shooting at the Parkland, Florida, high school where 17 were killed.
The presidential proclamation says: “Our Nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones in the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.”
Trump addressed the nation Thursday morning to offer condolences to those affected by the tragedy. He also said he is making plans to visit the community.
“Each person who was stolen from us yesterday had a full life ahead of them,” Trump said. “Today, we mourn for all of those who lost their lives.”
“”Our entire nation, with one heavy heart, is praying for the victims and their families. To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you. Whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain.”
A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that Cruz legally purchased his AR-15 rifle about a year ago.
The official is familiar with the investigation into the school shooting but not authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Federal law allows people 18 and over to legally purchase long guns. At 21, people can legally buy handguns from a licensed dealer.
Counselors are being made available for students, teachers and staff, but the school will remain closed as an investigation continues.
A sheriff said the bodies of 12 of the 17 victims were found inside the building.
A statement from Broward Sheriff Scott Israel says two other bodies were discovered outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, another was found a short distance away along a local road and two others died at a hospital.
Dr. Evan Boyer, the medical director at Broward Health North’s Department of Emergency Medicine, told reporters that the suspect was among 17 patients taken to local hospitals after the shooting.
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