More details are emerging about the suspect in a shooting that killed at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida Wednesday.
His Name And Age
The suspect has been identified by the Broward Sheriff’s Office as 19-year-old Nikolaus Cruz.
Suspect Nikolaus Cruz, 19, is in custody. #stonemandouglasshooting
— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) February 14, 2018
Suspect Was A Former Student Of Stoneman Douglas High School And Was Expelled
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said at a press conference that Cruz was a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and that he had been expelled.
“He’s 19 years old, he was born in 1998, in September,” Israel said. “He was a former student of Douglas High School. He got expelled for disciplinary reasons, I don’t know the specifics. I think he might have surfaced at Taravella High School, we’re still trying to confirm that. And this morning when he woke up, whether he was a student or not, I don’t know.”
Suspect’s Social Media Show He Was “Fascinated By Guns”
According to Fox News’ Trace Gallagher, the suspects’ social media showed that he was “fascinated by guns.”
“If you look at things like his Instagram page, you can see he’s fascinated by guns. We don’t know the type of weapon, we don’t know the power of the weapon. But we know that this suspect, if in fact it is him, is fascinated by guns, is fascinated by gun groups,” he said.
Suspect Followed “Syrian Resistance Groups” On Social Media
Gallagher also reported that Cruz followed “Syrian resistance groups” on social media, without expanding on what that meant or what groups they were.
“He’s also following resistance groups, like Syrian Resistance groups and fighter groups out of Iraq,” Gallagher said Wednesday. (RELATED: REPORT: Florida Shooter ‘Fascinated By Guns’ — Followed ‘Syrian Resistance Groups’)
The social media presence of Cruz has been mentioned in media coverage repeatedly, but exact details of his social media history have not yet been released.
Sheriff Israel said, “We’ve already began to dissect his websites and the things, that social media that he was on, and some of things have come to mind are very very disturbing.”
Suspect Was In Youtube Chat Room Conversation About Bombs
Gallagher also said that “a couple days ago, as far as a week ago,” the suspect was “involved in a Youtube chat room conversation about bombs or building bombs.”
Suspect Complained About Bullying
According to BuzzFeed News, a “former classmate” said that Cruz “complained about bullying.”
The same classmate also told BuzzFeed that Cruz “talked about guns a lot.”
What we know about the Florida school shooting suspect:
• The suspect has been identified by multiple sources as Nicolas de Jesus Cruz
• A former classmate told BuzzFeed News he was someone who complained about bullying and “talked about guns a lot.” https://t.co/e2Bpg0WzyE
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) February 14, 2018
Suspect Was Described As ‘Super Stressed Out All The Time’
Another person who spent time with Cruz in his junior ROTC program told BuzzFeed News that he was “super stressed out all the time and talked about guns a lot and tried to hide his face.”
Suspect Was Banned From Bringing Backpacks To Campus
According to the Miami Herald, Stoneman Douglas teacher Jim Gard said, “We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him.”
“There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”
Other Students ‘Predicted’ The Suspect Would Do Something
One student told WJXT4 that “everyone predicted it.” The student also said, “Honestly, a lot of people were saying it was gonna be him,” in reference to Cruz.
— Vic Micolucci WJXT (@WJXTvic) February 14, 2018