(CNN Español) — On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz, who was 19 at the time, shot inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people, including students and teachers.
Cruz was an alumnus of that Florida high school, and had been expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons. He is currently charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the incident.
The most important data of the attack
- Shortly before 3 p.m. on February 14, 2018, police respond to reports of a shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a public high school attended by about 3,000 students, on the outskirts of Boca Raton.
- Upon arrival, the officers encountered a dramatic scene. The shooting had already happened.
- Nikolas Cruz, who was 19 at the time, entered school and started shooting. Law enforcement sources said the suspect used a .223 caliber AR-15-style firearm in the shooting.
- In a span of about 10 minutes, Cruz wandered the hallways and targeted those huddled in classrooms on the first and second floors before leaving campus undetected in a crowd of students.
- The shooting left 17 people dead, including teachers and students.
- 12 people died inside the building and two outside it, according to police at the time. Another of the victims died in the street while the remaining two died in hospital.
- Investigators believe the suspect activated the fire alarm to get people out of classrooms and increase the death toll, a law enforcement source told CNN at the time.
- Some students, fearing their lives would soon end, sent goodbye text messages to their loved ones; others used their phones to share shocking images of the attack on social media.
- On March 7, 2018, a Florida investigative jury indicted Nikolas Cruz with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the school shooting.
- On October 15, 2021, Cruz’s lawyer revealed that his client intends to plead guilty to the charges stemming from the 2018 murders. So far, the young man has always pleaded not guilty to those charges.
- The Parkland massacre is among the 10 deadliest mass shootings in American history.
Who is Nikolas Cruz?
Nikolas Cruz was 19 years old when he gunned down high school students and teachers in Parkland, Florida.
Cruz was an alumnus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, from which he had been expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons.
At the time of the attack, Cruz was living in the home of Kimberly and James Snead, who had given him accommodation after the death of his mother.
After the massacre, they assured that they never saw the violent side of the young man, so they never imagined that he was capable of committing a massacre.
James Snead knew he had weapons, but he had ordered him to lock them and he thought that the young man had given him the only key, so he could not use them without his permission.
In a hearing held on Oct. 15 in a Florida court, Cruz pleaded guilty to charges related to a 2018 jail robbery.
Broward County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer read all four charges against her: attempted aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, assault on a law enforcement officer, depriving an officer of means of protection, and use of a self-defense weapon against a law enforcement officer. Cruz responded “guilty” to each count.
His attorney, David Wheeler, said Cruz will also plead guilty to charges stemming from the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The hearing will be next Wednesday, October 20.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism