At approximately 2:30 PM EST on February 14, 2018, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz pulled a fire alarm in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkman, Florida causing students and teachers to empty their classrooms. It was then he started shooting what is now confirmed to be an AR –15 semi-automatic rifle, killing 17 and wounding 15 students and teachers. Within minutes, the school was placed on lock-down and police responded to the scene.
At 4:10 PM EST, Broward Sheriff tweeted this:
Television footage was of the shooter being placed in the back of a police car. Reports say he tried to evade the police by blending into the crowd of students who were being released from the school. Police say Cruz was heavily armed with the aforementioned rifle and “multiple magazines”. Some sources are saying he was also armed with smoke bombs and wearing a gas mask.
He has been charged:
As of yet, there is not a clear motive, but Cruz had a history of violent outbursts and unruly behavior, so much so he was expelled from the high school, but the school is not going into details of the disciplinary actions. Many students interviewed stated he would threaten students, pulling the fire alarm on multiple occasions, having outbursts toward teachers, and even fighting with a student. One reason given for his expulsion was he carried bullets in his backpack into the school. One source said he received counseling in a mental health facility and was taking medications for his mental state. He and his brother were adopted by Lynda and Roger Cruz. Cruz died a decade ago due to a heart attack. Lynda passed away in November, leaving them orphaned.
There was also talk of a YouTube channel with Cruz’s name on the account. In one of the videos, he was boasting, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”
The Superintendent of the School District, Robert Runcie, was quoted as saying, “We received no warnings. Potentially there could have been signs out there, but we didn’t have any warning or phone calls or threats that were made.”
White Nationalist Militia Member?
There are several mainstream media sources claiming Nikolas is a member of the Republic of Florida, a White Nationalist Militia. This is simply not true. Tallahassee Police have followed the lead, and the origins of the claim are within a discord chat. It’s a prank. (Image was used with names and pictures take out upon request.)
There are other sources trying to link him with ISIS, but those too have been debunked. As for the claims that he was able to purchase the firearms because President Trump rolled back an Obama order, that is not entirely true. What he signed could have prevented certain classes of those deemed mentally ill from getting firearms. There have always been laws on the books stating who should be subjected to background checks.
My Two Cents
It is clear he was a troubled person. All the interviews with former classmates detailing their dealings with him make it difficult not to notice the problems he had. I feel the system did not do enough to put a spotlight on this person. The background check failed on weapons purchases. Why was there no notification about him receiving treatments?
As expected, the victims have not even been laid to rest and calls for gun control have gone out, but the issue is not more gun control regulations, but the mental health aspect of the shooter and the lack of action with the school system to recognize Cruz was a potential threat. It boils my blood when they continue to bring up the gun and not the people behind the gun.
The many sources I have gone through compared this shooting to Sandy Hook and even Columbine, but I do not believe they compare at all.
Until Next time,
PS: Here is the official Go Fund Me for the Victims and loved ones.
Go Fund me link.