According to BBC News, Nikolas Cruz is the 19-year-old who shot up a Florida high school and killed 17 students. As reported by the Daily Mail, this is the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012. As reported by BBC, Nikolas Cruz went on YouTube last year to post a comment that stated that he would be a ‘professional school shooter.’
BBC has reported that the FBI has admitted that someone had indeed reported that comment to them, but they were unable to fully identify the user (now known as Nikolas Cruz.) A US media report stated that teachers were warned about Nikolas Cruz and that he was not allowed near campus with a backpack. Jim Gard, who is a math teacher, told the Miami Herald newspaper that school administrators had emailed teachers about Nikolas’ behaviour. In an interview with The Miami Herald, Jim said: ‘We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him. There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.’ The brutal murder took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where seventeen people have died so far.
Among the tragic losses, there’s a story of bravery. Samantha Grady was in a Holocaust class with her best friend when two shots rang out throughout the school. During an interview on the Today Show, Samantha described her harrowing experience. She said: ‘there was a big bookshelf and we all kind of huddled there together. We all clamped really close tightly together.’
Samantha then recounted how Nicholas Cruz ‘came for [our] classroom’ and she heard and saw gunshots hitting the glass and entering into the people behind and beside her. Knowing that the gunman was targeting her specific classroom, her best friend decided to jump into action. It was during that interview on the Today Show that she said her best friend (who has remained unidentified) pushed her to the ground and told her to shield herself with a textbook.
In the interview, Samantha said that her best friend told her to ‘grab a book’ and that although ‘it was a tiny book, I took it and held it up.’ Samantha then said that she was grazed by several bullets but ultimately was able to sprint out into the hallways and flee the gunman. She recounted how she had to run past two dead bodies.
She said: ‘the book kind of deterred some of the bullets, so they didn’t hit me so badly. She was the one who gave me the idea. She helped me a lot.’ Unfortunately, Samantha’s friend was unable to make it. Samantha was later taken to a hospital where she was treated for her wounds.
Nikolas Cruz appeared in court on Thursday, February 15, facing 17 counts of premeditated murder. These charges carry a possibility of the death penalty. Footage reveals him standing next to his female attorney who had her arms around him in an attempt to comfort him. According to the Daily Mail, a Broward government official has stated that Nikolas Cruz is on a suicide watch after he threatened to kill himself.
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