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|“||Hello. My name is Nick, and I'm gonna be the next school shooter of 2018. My goal is at least 20 people. With an AR-15 and a couple tracer rounds, I think I can get it done.||„|
|~ Cruz in a cell phone video shortly before the shooting.|
Nikolas Jacob "Nick" Cruz (born September 24, 1998) is an American school shooter from Parkland, Florida. On February 14, 2018, he committed a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, (where he had formerly been a student), killing 17 people and injuring 17 others. The shooting is currently the deadliest high school shooting in United States history, surpassing the Columbine High School massacre of 1999.
This is a list of educators who had died in the shootings. All 3 of the victims were male. The victim's names are followed by their date of birth, and their age at the time that they were killed.
- Scott Beigel, geography teacher - October 22, 1982 (35 years)
- Aaron Feis, assistant football coach - May 17, 1980 (37 years)
- Chris Hixon, athletic director - February 25, 1968 (49 years)
This is a list of students who had died in the shootings. In total, 14 were killed. 7 of the victims were male and 7 were female. The victim's names are followed by their date of birth, and their age at the time that they were killed.
- Alyssa Alhadeff - May 1, 2003 (14 years)
- Martin Duque - September 9, 2003 (14 years)
- Nicholas Dworet - March 24, 2000 (17 years)
- Jaime Guttenberg - July 13, 2003 (14 years)
- Luke Hoyer - October 25, 2002 (15 years)
- Cara Loughran - February 21, 2003 (14 years)
- Gina Montalto - April 22, 2003 (14 years)
- Joaquin Oliver - August 4, 2000 (17 years)
- Alaina Petty - August 22, 2003 (14 years)
- Meadow Pollack - October 5, 1999 (18 years)
- Helena Ramsay - January 19, 2001 (17 years)
- Alex Schachter - July 9, 2003 (14 years)
- Carmen Schentrup - February 21, 2001 (16 years)
- Peter Wang - November 9, 2002 (15 years)
Cruz has been diagnosed with autism, depression, and ADHD, as well as history of hostile behavior and aggression. The police had received 39 calls to his mother's house. Also, Cruz was reported to the FBI twice, once for a YouTube comment in September 2017, in which he said "I'm going to be a professional school shooter," though it fell through after the FBI was "able to track him down". Cruz very commonly made spelling errors in his writing.
The other on January 5, 2018, when a person close to Cruz "provided information about Cruz's gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting". His social media posts included bigoted messages, dead lizards, and weaponry on display. Video footage shot by others has has shown him engaging in fights, and shooting at inanimate objects in his underwear.
Nikolas Jacob Cruz was born on September 24, 1998, in Margate, Florida to Brenda Woodward, a woman with a violent criminal history who has been arrested 46 times including in 1998 when she was caught buying crack cocaine while six months pregnant with Cruz. He and his half brother were adopted by Lynda and Rodger Cruz. By the time he was 3, he was diagnosed with developmental delays. By the time he was 6, he suffered the trauma of witnessing his father's death by heart attack. Lynda was left to raise the 2 boys all by herself.
Nikolas wasn’t an easy child. He had been diagnosed with a string of disorders and conditions: depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, emotional behavioral disability and autism, records from the state Department of Children and Families show. His mom told sheriff’s deputies he also had obsessive-compulsive disorder and anger issues.
He had counselors in school and at home, according to DCF records, and he took medications.
Nikolas’s mother doted on him, and he was still learning to do household chores and laundry in his late teen years. Nikolas had bad influences among peers, school records say. When Zachary wanted to play with friends, their mother would make him take Nikolas along, the former neighbor and friend said. His brother and friends would often bully him.
His mother called the police to say he got physical with his brother and with her. The agency responded to 23 calls over 10 years, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said. When he was 14, his mother reported that he had hit her with the plastic hose from a vacuum cleaner. A few months later, she told deputies he had thrown her against the wall because she took away his Xbox gaming system. A year later, she told deputies Nikolas, then 15, had punched the wall after she took away his Xbox.
Cruz was once expelled from his high school for bringing bullets in his backpack, and his pupils reported that Cruz liked to talk about guns, bullets, and poaching. He was also reported that he would make threats towards other students.
After his mother's death in November 2017, Cruz and his brother were taken in by Rocxanne Deschamps, a family friend. Cruz stayed there for a little less than a month, during which time Deschamps called 911 on him a number of times. She was afraid that Cruz might harm either himself or her family with his gun. According to Deschamps's statement, she called 911 for the third time when Cruz was punching holes in the wall, and attacked her son. By the time the police arrived, Cruz had left the house, and Deschamps was afraid he had gone to get his gun. When he returned, Deschamps served Cruz an ultimatum: he could either stay at her house and give up his gun or leave. Cruz chose to leave. He lived with a friend for a brief period of time before moving into James Snead's house.
On February 14, 2018, Cruz came to his former high school in a Uber at 2:19 PM, shortly before the school ended for the day. He entered his former high school and killed 17 people and wounded 17 others, sending students running into the streets in panic and terror. Though he was initially unable to flee the scene by dropping his weapons and blending in with the terrified fleeing students, the police identified him through school surveillance footage. He was eventually stopped in Coral Springs Florida, about 79 minutes after the shooting initially began.
Cruz armed himself with an M&P 15 sport 2 semi-automatic rifle with 30 round magazines. Upon entering the school, he pulled a fire alarm and began shooting at teachers and students. Upon his capture at 3:40 PM, he was sent to the hospital, but then ultimately sent to Broward County Jail.
The exact reasons behind Cruz's attack remain unknown, but there are many possible contributing factors. Nikolas Cruz suffered from mental illness exacerbated by violence and aggression. He was transferred to a special education school in 2014 but ended up transferring to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2016. He was suspended on September 20, and only 8 days later attempted to kill himself by slitting his wrists and drinking gasoline. He also expressed plans to buy a gun, while getting into many fights and having dished out many threats.
The death of his mother on November 1, 2017, may have influenced him. Cruz watched his adoptive father die in 2004, so Cruz lived with relatives and younger brother after both of his parents had died. He posted a series of violent and possibly threatening pictures on his Instagram account. He also used his account to express his racist views and broadcast threats to others, including his school. He posted dozens of pictures showcasing his weapons, posted alongside his extremist views being usually extremist views identified with the alt-right. Even after his January 5th case, the police failed to investigate the matter, breaking protocol and enabling the assault.
In his interview after he was arrested, Cruz claimed to have heard a voice in his head that said, "Burn, Kill, Destroy". Describing the voice as his 'demon', Cruz stated it had told him to buy his AR-15 rifle and perpetrate the shooting. However, the fact that Cruz informed nobody, not even his mother or a mental health professional, about the voice suggests that Cruz was lying. It is likely that Cruz invented this 'demon' in order to prove his innocence.
He is being charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, which may warrant a death penalty conviction. After his arraignment, he was held in an isolated cell on suicide watch.
Some prosecutors are seeking to have him be punished by the death penalty.
Cruz was to go on trial in January 2020, but the trial was delayed to summer 2020 to give the defense more time to prepare. In June 2020, the trial was delayed again because of concerns about COVID-19 and will likely be delayed until 2021.
On October 20, 2021, Cruz plead guilty to the 17 counts. He had initially pleaded not guilty to all of the crimes, but his attorneys recently said they would not contest his guilt. Instead, the group of public defenders who represent Cruz have asked the court to sentence him to 17 life sentences.
First ever photo of Cruz to surface the internet after the massacre.
Nikolas Cruz being arrested.
Young Cruz taking a picture of himself in the mirror.
Cruz at a bond hearing a day after the school shooting.
Nikolas Cruz's comment on Youtube.
Nikolas Cruz with a gun.
A photo of Nikolas Cruz with a MAGA hat and a bandanna.
- Cruz was inspired by the Texas Tower shooting perpetrated by Charles Whitman in August 1966.
- He shares the same exact personality with Mark Aeron Manzolim Capule
- He is openly Islamophobic, antisemitic and homophobic, and identifies as a member of the Alt-Right, according to various posts from his social media accounts.
- Cruz is a strong supporter of former U.S. President Donald Trump and reportedly wore a red "Make America Great Again" hat to school quite often. He was also known to frequently insult liberals, communists, and members of Antifa.
- Cruz was a fan of the YouTuber Rusty Cage, whose Knife Game Song videos were in Cruz' phone search history, as shown in a police report. Rusty Cage made a video after finding out he was in the police report, making fun of Cruz and saying he doesn't condone the actions of school shooters, viewing them as "fucking pathetic losers".
- At the time of the shooting, he was enrolled in a GED program and employed at a local dollar store.
- He reportedly bragged to friends that he enjoyed killing and torturing animals.
- Just seconds before the shooting began, a student named Chris McKenna entered the stairwell as Cruz was loading his weapon, who said to him, "Get out of here, things are about to get bad."
- The Parkland shooting is currently ranked the third deadliest school shooting in United States history and the 9th deadliest mass shooting overall. It is also the deadliest school shooting to take place on a high school campus, surpassing the Columbine massacre of 1999.
- Cruz has an IQ of 83, which is slightly below average.
- The bullets he used during the shooting reportedly had swastikas carved on them.
- According to the Miami Herald, Cruz's birth mother Brenda Woodard was arrested 28 times, including a 2010 charge for beating a companion with a tire iron. She was also arrested for buying crack cocaine when pregnant with Cruz.
- Cruz has an older half-sister named Danielle Woodard, who is allegedly serving an eight-year prison sentence for charges including second-degree attempted murder of a police officer. When she was younger, Danielle Woodard had been charged for bringing weapons to school. She has been arrested 17 times.