On Wednesday, February 14th — Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida. The shooter, who was a former student at the high school, tragically shot and killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen others.
On a day that should have been a celebration with friends and loved ones, hundreds of people were fearing for their lives. Teenaged students were shoved in closets, forced take cover on the ground, or sprinting to escape to safety.
The gunman who initiated this tragic and chaotic day has been identified as Nikolas Cruz. Although a motive remains unknown, details regarding the terrible tragedy continue to unravel as authorities move forward with the investigation.
Previously, it was released that Cruz was a very “troubled” student. He reportedly threatened other students from his school in the past, was “obsessed” with weapons, and followed several “Syrian resistance” groups on social media.
New details about the shooter’s past were revealed on Thursday morning. According to Fox News, Cruz lost both of his adoptive parents in recent years — his father died of a heart attack a few years ago and his mother died of pneumonia last November.
Students who knew him described as a “loner” and “that weird kid.” Others said they “weren’t shocked” by his actions because the incident "seemed like something he would do."
In 2017, Cruz was expelled after allegedly getting into a fist fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. One student claimed Cruz was abusive to his girlfriend, reported Fox. Little details are known about their previous relationship.
Cruz is set to make his first court appearance Thursday afternoon. The young man has already been charged with 17 counts of murder.
Please continue to pray for the victims of this horrible tragedy and their families. In related news, the first victim of the shooting was identified.