PARKLAND, Fla. —
Officials have identified the Florida school shooting suspect as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who had been expelled for disciplinary reasons.
Here’s what we know about Cruz:
Gunfire erupted at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shortly before dismissal on Wednesday, Feb. 14. At least 17 people were killed and 23 injured during the shooting rampage, a mixture of students and adults.
The suspect was armed with an AR-15 and had numerous magazines, law enforcement officials said.
According to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, Cruz was arrested without incident after he was located off the school grounds in a nearby community. Cruz reportedly left the school by blending in with other students who were trying to escape.
After Cruz was apprehended, he was taken from the scene in an ambulance. Hours later he was later seen being led into a local police station wearing a hospital gown.
According to other students, Cruz was the subject of jokes from other kids. A student told WFOR-TV that other students “knew it was going to be him.”
“A lot of people were saying it was going to be him. A lot of kids threw jokes around saying that he was going to be the one to shoot up the school,” the student said. “It turns out that everyone predicted it. That’s crazy.”
Seventeen-year-old junior Matthew Walker spoke to ABC News, saying Cruz was known to show off knives and guns on his social media accounts.
“He was going class to class just shooting at random kids,” he said. “Everything he posts [on social media] is about weapons. It’s sick.”
Employees at a nearby Dollar Tree told ABC News that Cruz used to work in their store and described him as a loyal responsible employee. They were shocked that Cruz, who they said was a nice kid always who was in a good mood, was implicated in the shooting.