Who is Florida high school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz? Sheriff says online posts ‘very disturbing’

PARKLAND, Fla. (WFLA/AP) – A law enforcement official says the former student suspected of killing at least 17 people at a South Florida high school posted highly disturbing material on social media before the shooting rampage.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Wednesday the 19-year-old suspect, Nikolas Cruz, had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for unspecified disciplinary reasons.

Israel says investigators are dissecting the suspect’s social media posts and found material that is “very, very disturbing.”

“He is in custody and we have already begun to dissect his websites and the things on social media that he was on, and some of the things that have come to mind are very, very disturbing,” Israel said.

An ex-schoolmate recalled Cruz posting on Instagram about killing animals and said he talked of doing target practice in his backyard with a pellet gun.

A student who escaped the deadly shooting at a Florida high school says he knew the suspect when he attended the school, describing him as a “weird kid” and something of a “loner.”

Student Daniel Huerfano told The Associated Press he remembers seeing Cruz walking around the school with his lunch bag, adding, “He was that weird kid that you see … like a loner.”

“Honestly, all people were saying that it was going to be him. All the kids threw jokes around like that, saying he was going to be the one to shoot up the school, but it turns out, everyone predicted it,” said another student.

A school superintendent, Robert Runcie, told reporters he didn’t know of any concerns raised about Cruz.

The school will be closed for the rest of the week.

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