Tags: Mass Shootings | School Shooting | Florida | charges

Florida Shooting Suspect Formally Charged With 17 Counts of Murder

Florida Shooting Suspect Formally Charged With 17 Counts of Murder
(AP)

Wednesday, 07 March 2018 02:33 PM

Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz has been formally charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder, which could mean a death sentence if he's convicted.

A grand jury in Fort Lauderdale returned the indictment Wednesday against the 19-year-old Cruz for the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in which 17 people died and 16 were wounded.

The indictment also charges Cruz with 17 counts of attempted murder.

Cruz's public defender has said he'll plead guilty if prosecutors take the death penalty off the table, which would mean a life prison sentence. The Broward County state attorney hasn't announced a decision on the death penalty.

The head of Florida's law-enforcement agency says subpoenas are being prepared in an investigation into the police response to a mass shooting at a high school.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen said Wednesday that the agency will eventually turn over its findings to the Broward County prosecutor.

He said his investigators have begun to prepare subpoenas and will start reviewing documents before interviewing the law enforcement agencies that responded to the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Swearingen said the investigation won't be rushed.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott last month ordered FDLE to investigate the response to the shooting amid an outcry from some Republican legislators who wanted the governor to suspend Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

Jail records show Cruz is being held in solitary confinement.

The Broward Sheriff's Office has released a report of officers' observations of Nikolas Cruz to local news stations.

The observations start Feb. 17 and end Feb. 24. Officers described Cruz as being cooperative but avoiding eye contact. They said he "often sits with a blank stare."

The report said Cruz appeared to laugh and exhibited "awkward" behavior during and after a visit with an attorney. He also has had one "family visit."

The report said Cruz also requested a Bible to read in his single-person cell in the infirmary.

Cruz has been jailed since he was arrested shortly after the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz has been formally charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder, which could mean a death sentence if he's convicted. A grand jury in Fort Lauderdale returned the indictment Wednesday against the 19-year-old Cruz for the...
School Shooting, Florida, charges
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2018-33-07
Wednesday, 07 March 2018 02:33 PM
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