Nikolas Cruz admitted to shooting and killing 17 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and faculty in Parkland, Fla., during a court hearing Thursday.
Cruz took an Uber to his high school around 2:21 p.m. on Wednesday. He pulled the fire alarm and roamed the halls, shooting people on the first and second floors. He then dropped his rifle and backpack on the third floor, reportedly disguising himself as one of the students frantically running around. He went to a Subway sandwich shop after, bought himself a drink, and sat at a McDonald’s.
Investigators identified Cruz through video footage. Forty minutes later, a police officer caught him walking on the side of the road.
Cruz, 19, confessed to police that he is the gunman who is now charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, The New York Times reported. He appeared at Broward County Court Thursday with his arms, legs and waist shackled.
ALSO WATCH: Mike Lee Talks Gun Control In An Exclusive Interview After Parkland, FL Shooting.
“He’s sad. He’s mournful,” public-defender Melisa McNeill said, adding, “He is fully aware of what is going on, and he’s just a broken human being.” Gordon Weekes, the chief assistant to the public defender, added that Cruz has been known to struggle heavily with mental illness and might have autism.
Cruz is being held without bond.
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