Red Flags? The Florida High School Shooter Might Have Been Reported As A Threat To Students

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Posted: Feb 14, 2018 6:35 PM
Red Flags? The Florida High School Shooter Might Have Been Reported As A Threat To Students

UPDATE: Cruz is said to have used an AR-15 rifle, smoke grenades (via NBC News):

Officials believe the gunman had one AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle and multiple magazines, but it was unclear whether he had any other weapons. The gunfire began outside the school and continued inside, where 12 of the victims were killed, Israel said.

Authorities initially spelled Cruz's first name as "Nikolaus" but later corrected the spelling. He was taken into custody off campus about an hour after he "committed this horrific, detestable act," said Israel, who said investigators were reviewing social media postings that he described as "very disturbing."

Federal and local authorities told NBC News that there was no indication that the gunman had an accomplice or accomplices.

***

We don’t know his motives, but what we do know is that Nikolas de Jesus Cruz, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida ventured back onto campus and started shooting killing 17 people. At least a dozen more were wounded. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel described the scene as “catastrophic” and it’s been classified as a mass casualty event. Cruz was taken into custody earlier this afternoon.

One student interviewed said, “everyone predicted this,” noting that the student body used to joke that Cruz would be someone to attack the school. 

“He knows the school layout; he knows where everyone would be at,” said the student. 

Now, the Miami Herald is reporting that a teacher flagged Cruz as a potential threat, but this has yet to be confirmed:

A teacher at the school told the Miami Herald that Cruz, 19, had been identified as a potential threat to fellow students in the past. Gard says he believes the school administration had sent out an email warning teachers that the student had made threats against other in the past and that he should not be allowed on the campus with a backpack. Another student interviewed on the scene by Channel 7 said the student had guns at home.

“We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” said math teacher Jim Gard, who said the former student suspected in the shootings had been in his class last year. “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”

A Broward schools spokesperson could not confirm any information about the shooter, and said Runcie [Robert Runcie, superintendent of Broward Schools] was currently meeting with the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

The shooting began just before dismissal, after someone pulled the fire alarm. Students and teachers were puzzled because the school had already held a fire drill that day.

Superintendent Runcie said he had no knowledge of Cruz being a potential danger:

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The Broward County School District Superintendent, however, told reporters on Wednesday afternoon that he did not know of any concerns raised about the student.

We received no warnings,” Superintendent Robert Runcie told reporters outside the school. “Potentially there could have been signs out there. But we didn't have any warning or phone calls or threats that were made.”

As for Gard, he said he believes the school administration earlier sent out an e-mail warning teachers that the student had made threats against others in the past and that he should not be allowed on the campus with a backpack.

We’re still piecing this together, folks. Cruz had been expelled from the high school.