A sheriff's report released yesterday (February 15th), one day after the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that killed 17 people, said that accused gunman Nikolas Cruz confessed to the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Officials revealed that the 19-year-old Cruz, who'd been expelled from the school a year earlier for disciplinary problems, fired his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle for three minutes, and then dropped the weapon and a backpack that had more ammunition, blending in with the fleeing students. After the attack, Cruz went to Wal-Mart and bought a drink at a Subway before going to McDonald's, and was taken into custody soon after leaving the fast food restaurant.
Cruz was charged with murder yesterday, and ordered held without bond at a court hearing, after which his attorney called him a "broken human being." Officials say Cruz, who was orphaned when his mother died last November after his father had passed away 13 years earlier, is being held under suicide watch. It was also reported that the FBI had investigated a 2017 YouTube comment from an account using the name Nikolas Cruz that said: "I’m going to be a professional school shooter." However, the FBI couldn't identify the person who made the comment.
After President Trump tweeted condolences on the day of the shooting Wednesday, and then tweeted early yesterday that Cruz was, quote, "mentally disburbed" and that signs of problems have to be reported to authorities, quote, "again and again," Trump went before cameras later in the day to address the American people. In his remarks, Trump said he would tackle school safety and, quote, "the difficult issue of mental health. He said that the nation was united in its grief, and directly spoke to children who may feel, quote, "lost, alone, confused or even scared," telling them, "I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be. You have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you." Trump didn't mention guns or answer shouted questions from reporters about them. The president did say that he will visit Parkland.