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Florida school shooter indicted on 17 murder counts

On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz (C) massacred students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school with a semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle
AFP

Miami (AFP) – Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz was indicted Wednesday on 17 counts of murder and 17 more of attempted murder, the state attorney’s office said.

On February 14 Cruz entered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, just north of Miami, and opened fire with a semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle, killing 14 students and three staff members.

A Broward County grand jury charged Cruz — who has confessed to the killings — with 17 counts of first degree premeditated murder and 17 counts of first degree attempted murder.

The attempted murder charges relate to those wounded in the attack, state attorney Michael Satz said in a statement.

After the shooting, police said that 19 year-old Cruz, a former Stoneman Douglas student, stopped at a Walmart and then McDonald’s before officers detained him 40 minutes after the rampage.

After the shooting the Parkland students launched a movement dubbed “Never Again” to pressure politicians to address the issues of gun violence and mass shootings in the United States.

Florida alone has seen three mass shootings in under two years — 49 were killed at an Orlando nightclub in 2016, five at Fort Lauderdale’s international airport in 2017, and now 17 in Parkland.

On Wednesday Florida’s House of Representatives debated a measure that proposes some restrictions on access to firearms and arming teachers to defend students in the event of an attack.

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