A teenage gunman who shot dead 17 people at a Florida high school is believed to have set off the fire alarms to draw people out into the halls before he opened fire – and then managed to evade police by pretending to be one of the terrified students running for cover.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday afternoon armed with an assault rifle.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz was a former student at the school but had been expelled for unknown ‘disciplinary reasons’ last year.
Cruz was armed with at least one AR-15 rifle, had ‘multiple magazines’ and smoke grenades when he stormed the school wearing a gas mask.
Investigators are now looking into whether Cruz may have pulled the fire alarm to draw people into halls so he could get a higher death toll.
The first of the 17 victims has since been identified as 46-year-old athletic director Chris Hixon.
A number of students have said they thought they heard the fire alarm right before the first shots were fired. The school had already had a fire drill earlier that day, leaving many of the students confused.
Authorities have already started dissecting his social media accounts and reported that some of things he had been posting was ‘very disturbing’.
Traumatized students said that once they heard reports of a mass shooting at the school they knew it would be Cruz, while one teacher said he had been identified as a potential threat to his classmates last year.
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