Nikolas Cruz is being held without bond after appearing in a Florida courtroom.

Ex-student charged with 17 counts of murder in Florida high school shooting deaths

Feb. 16, 2018
Authorities also disclose that the accused gunman is a member of a white nationalist group.

A judge has ordered that Nikolas Cruz, 19, be held without bond after being charged with 17 counts of murder in a gruesome shooting attack at a Broward County, Fla., high school.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel also reports that Cruz is a member of a white nationalist group and participated in paramilitary drills.

He has been charged in the nation’s deadliest school attack in five years.

[MORE: Authorities have released the identities of those killed in Wednesday's shooting (CNN)]

Thirteen wounded survivors have been hospitalized, including two people in critical condition.

Some bodies remained inside the high school Thursday as authorities investigate the crime scene, authorities say. The slain include a school athletic director and another adult who worked as a monitor at the school.

Authorities offered no details about a possible motive, except to say that Cruz had been kicked out of the high school. Students who knew him described a volatile teenager whose strange behavior had caused others to end friendships with him.

Cruz legally purchased the AR-15 rifle allegedly used in the assault at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

The leader of a white nationalist militia called the Republic of Florida says Cruz was a member of his group and participated in exercises in Tallahassee.

Jordan Jereb told AP that did not know Cruz personally and that “he acted on his own behalf” and is “solely responsible for what he just did.”

The group wants Florida to become its own white ethno-state. Jereb said his organization holds “spontaneous random demonstrations” and tries not to participate in the modern world.

Jereb also says Cruz had “trouble with a girl” and that he believed the timing of the attack, on Valentine’s Day, was not a coincidence.

Broward County Schools Superintendent Rob Runcie says “now is the time to have a real conversation about gun control legislation.” 

Wednesday's attack was the nation’s deadliest school shooting since a gunman attacked an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.

Everytown For Gun Safety, a gun-control advocacy group, has tallied 291 school shootings in America since 2013, and the Broward County attack makes 18 so far in 2018.

Sponsored Recommendations

Schedule an AIA Course Presentation

Get closer to completing your annual AIA Continuing Education requirement.. Our continuing education courses will get you that much closer to completi…