Parkland School Shooting: Accused Shooter Arraigned as Debate Rages Over Missed Warning Signs
Nikolas Cruz uttered just two words in court as he was arraigned on 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Accused high school shooter Nikolas Cruz has been arraigned in a Florida courtroom, where he was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the deaths of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The 19-year-old appeared in an orange jumpsuit, his hands shackled, as his attorney led him to a podium. He remained quiet as Judge Theresa Mollica ordered Cruz held without bond, saying only, "Yes ma'am."
Cruz was arrested Wednesday following America’s deadliest school shooting in five years.
The adopted teen with a troubled past wrote on YouTube last September that he was “going to be a professional school shooter.”
Ben Bennight, a bail bondsman from Mississippi, spotted the comment. He took a screenshot and sent it to the FBI.
"I knew I couldn't ignore that," he told Inside Edition. "The next day, I had two FBI agents standing in my office."
On Thursday, the FBI confirmed agents had tried, but were unable to locate Cruz.
"In September 2017, the FBI received information about a comment made on a YouTube channel," FBI field office spokesman Brett Carr said in a statement. "The comment said, 'I’m going to be a professional school shooter.' No other information was included in the comment which would indicate a particular time, location, or the true identity of the person who posted the comment. The FBI conducted database reviews and other checks, but was unable to further identify the person who posted the comment."
Cruz also left other disturbing posts on social media.
"I wanna shoot people with my AR-15,” one post read.
In another, he said: "I wanna die Fighting killing s*** ton of people."
He had been expelled from the high school last year for fighting and returned Wednesday, armed with the AR-15 assault rifle he had bragged about on social media.
The sheer terror experienced by the students inside the school at the time was broadcast in videos recorded as the massacre unfolded.
Traumatized teens were filmed sobbing as paramedics tended to their wounded classmates.
In another video, bodies are seen in the hallway as armed officers lead a group of students to safety.
Another student recorded the moment a SWAT team entered to rescue her class.
David Hogg, the student news director for the school's TV channel, recorded everything as he hid under his desk. He said that he and his fellow classmates initially thought it was a drill but reality set in as they heard gunfire.
"What I captured was the absolute terror and chaos of what being in a situation like this is in — a situation that none of us should ever be in," he told Inside Edition.
Cruz was able to escape the school with fleeing students. He attempted to blend in by wearing a burgundy Junior ROTC T-shirt, knowing that the kids in the program wore the same shirt on Wednesdays.
He fled the school towards the town of Coral Springs and made it about a mile before he was spotted by cops and taken down. Cruz didn't resist as he was cuffed and loaded into a police cruiser.
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