Teacher: Florida Student Was Flagged as Threat

Classmates say Nikolas Cruz was obsessed with weapons
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2018 11:23 PM CST
Updated Feb 15, 2018 6:21 AM CST
Students released from a lockdown walk away following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018.   (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
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(Newser) – The former student accused of killing 17 people in America's worst school shooting since Sandy Hook had been flagged as a threat at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after he was expelled, a teacher says. Fellow students at the school in Parkland, Fla., say Nikolas Cruz, 19, was obsessed with weapons and had displayed increasingly strange behavior. Parent John Crescitelli tells the Miami Herald his son had warned him about Cruz. He says his son told him: "If you were to pick one person you might predict in the future would shoot up a school or do this, it would be this kid." Student Victoria Olvera, 17, says Cruz was expelled last year for fighting his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend, the AP reports. Another classmate says he was caught with bullets in his backpack. He apparently attended another school in Broward County after the expulsion.

Teacher Jim Gard says an email was sent last year warning staff about Cruz, who had allegedly threatened students and been banned from returning to campus carrying a backpack, though Broward County public schools superintendent Robert Runcie told reporters that Cruz hadn't been considered a threat, the Guardian reports. "You see in these situations that there potentially could have been signs out there," he said. "But we didn't have any warnings, there weren’t any phone calls or threats that we know of that were made." Cruz, who was reportedly armed with an AR-15 rifle, was arrested after the attack. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel says investigators have looked at the teen's social media posts and found "very, very disturbing material." At least 15 injured victims were hospitalized after the attack, five of them in life-threatening condition. (Read more school shooting stories.)

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