Nikolas Cruz, 19, invaded a Florida high school on Valentine’s Day and killed 17 people. Now he faces 17 counts of premeditated murder, and if convicted he could face the death penalty.
After the shooting, Cruz was seen dressed in a hospital uniform leaving the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, after being questioned by authorities.
Thursday morning the shooter was transferred to a county jail where he awaits his first court hearing, scheduled for the same day at 2:00pm.
It has already been revealed that Cruz had a very troubled past and his adoptive mother just recently passed away.
Authorities also know that he owned an AR-15.
Via Daily Mail: It also appears that the FBI missed out on an opportunity to intervene before the shooting, when a bail bondsman in Mississippi last year alerted the feds about an alarming online message Cruz wrote saying he was ‘going to be a professional school shooter’.
Ben Bennight says he alerted the FBI to a comment shared by Cruz on one of his YouTube videos back in September. He says the FBI was quick to respond to the concerning statement, arriving at his office the very next day to find out if he knew anything about the young man.
That was after he called a local field agent, revealing that his initial attempts to send in a screengrab of the comment failed when the email address he found listed on the federal agency’s website came back with a domain error saying that it did not exist.
He didn’t get a follow up from the FBI until Wednesday though, after the shooting. At a press conference Thursday morning, an FBI officials said they followed up on the report but were ‘unable to further identify the person who made the comment’.
Mayor Beam Furr of Broward County disclosed to the media that Cruz was previously getting mental health treatment at a clinic, but has missed sessions for over a year.
‘It wasn’t like there wasn’t concern for him,’ Furr told CNN. ‘We try to keep our eyes out on those kids who aren’t connected. … In this case we didn’t find a way to connect with this kid.’
Police have yet to offer Cruz’ motive behind the shooting, only that he was expelled from the school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which has about 3,000 students.
Authorities quickly started dissecting the shooter’s social media accounts in a bid to piece together the motive. Sheriff Israel reported that some of things the shooter had been posting was ‘very disturbing’.
In one Instragram post, Cruz posted a screengrab of Google search results for ‘what does allahu akbar’ mean. Allahu Akbar means ‘God is great’ in Arabic, and is something Islamist terrorist often shout before attacks.
Cruz wrote under the photo: ‘Well at least we know what it means when a sand durka [a racial expletive for an Arab person] says “allahu akbar” [laughing face emojis].’
People from the school who knew him said he was an unpredictable person and many people stopped being friends with Cruz due to his strange behavior.
Cruz’s mother Lynda Cruz died of pneumonia on November 1 neighbors, friends and family members said, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Cruz and her husband, who died of a heart attack several years ago, adopted Nikolas and his biological brother, Zachary, after the couple moved from Long Island in New York to Broward County. Nikolas was an infant when he was adopted, and his adoptive mother was allegedly the only person he was close with.