Nikolas Cruz, 19, initially managed to evade law enforcement after gunning down students and faculty at an area high school. Amid the chaos, Cruz blended in with fleeing students, happening to get as far as a gated community nearly two miles from the scene. But, he didn’t evade capture for long.
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On Wednesday, after the rampage that has left at least 17 dead and more than 50 others injured, gunman Cruz exited Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, located in Parkland, Florida, as others fled, fearing for their lives.
Cruz used an AR-15 assault rifle, and had “multiple magazines,” to unleash terror at the school, where he was formerly a student, leaving a massive number of casualties in his wake.
Law enforcement responded to the shooting, but Cruz wasn’t located in the school. He was found nearly two miles away at a nearby gated community, and officers were quick to take him into custody.
According to police, as reported by the Daily Mail, Cruz was “arrested without incident.” In the video, he can be seen putting his hands behind his back while an officer holds him at gunpoint. A second officer approaches from behind, quickly cuffing Cruz.
Cruz was initially transported to an area hospital, though has since been brought to police headquarters and placed in jail.
Photos of the transfer show a dazed Cruz being loaded into a police cruiser while still wearing a hospital gown.
Cruz reportedly wore a gas mask during the attack and may have pulled a fire alarm to draw students and faculty members into the hallways of the school before opening fire.
Law enforcement also reviewed the content of Cruz’s social media pages, labeling the content “very disturbing.” Matthew Walker, a 17-year-old student at the school, stated, “Everything he posts [on social media] is about weapons. It’s sick.”
Florida is a death penalty state, though it is too soon to consider potential sentences as the full scope of the charges may change.
Currently, 17 people have died due to injuries sustained during the attack. The first victim of the shooting was identified as Chris Hixon, a 46-year-old athletic director.