- The suspected Florida high-school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, confessed to committing the massacre on Thursday, a police report said.
- He arrived at the high school via Uber, and visited a Walmart and McDonald’s after the shooting, the sheriff said.
- Cruz is being held without bond on 17 counts of premeditated murder.
- Cruz may have been a member of a white nationalist militia, the group’s leader said Thursday.
The suspected Florida high-school shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, has confessed to committing the massacre that killed 17 on Wednesday, a Broward County Sheriff’s Office report said.
Sheriff Scott Israel laid out a timeline of the shooting on Thursday, telling reporters that Cruz arrived at the school around 2:19 p.m. local time via an Uber.
Cruz then entered the school carrying his legally purchased AR-15 rifle in a black, soft case, Israel said. He walked up the east stairwell, then allegedly opened fire in several classrooms before shooting another victim in the west stairwell.
According to the sheriff’s report, Cruz told the officers interrogating him that he “began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on school grounds.”
After he ceased fire, Cruz then dropped his rifle and backpack with ammunition on the third floor, ran down the stairs, and exited the building, blending himself into the crowds of fleeing students, Israel said.
In an odd twist, Cruz then visited a Walmart and bought a drink at the Subway inside the Walmart, sat down for a period of time in a McDonald’s, then left on foot and was arrested by local police around 3:41 p.m., according to Israel.
Cruz was ordered held without bond on 17 counts of premeditated murder in his court appearance on Thursday. Cruz’s public defender, Melisa McNeill, told reporters that Cruz is remorseful for his actions and a “broken human being.”
Sheriff says no connection to white nationalist militia
More confusion emerged Thursday after media outlets reported that Cruz may have been a member of a white nationalist militia.
The leader of the Republic of Florida, Jordan Jereb, told the Associated Press that Cruz belonged to the group and had participated in at least one paramilitary drill in Tallahassee.
Jereb told The Associated Press that he didn’t know Cruz personally and that Cruz “acted on his own behalf of what he just did and he’s solely responsible for what he just did.”
But Tallahassee authorities told the Tallahassee Democrat that they’ve found no connections between Cruz and the militia so far.
Lt. Grady Jordan of the Leon County Sheriff’s Office told the Associated Press that deputies have arrested Jereb at least four times in the last four years, and that they closely monitor the group’s members.
He said his office has “very solid” information on ROF and found “no known ties that we have that can connect” Cruz to the militia.