Nikolas de Jesus Cruz, also known as Nick or Nicolas Cruz on social media, has been identified as the suspect in the Florida high school shooting that left at least 15 people dead and at least 14 people wounded. The motive for the shooting isn’t yet known. These are photos of the subject, including photos of his arrest earlier today and photos from his social media Instagram account.
Before the suspect’s name was released, photos emerged showing his arrest at a home near the high school campus.
Initial reports of the shooting ranged from 20 to 50 injured. Parents were told to stay away from the school, but to meet at a nearby Marriott hotel instead as they waited for news about their children.
Cruz is a former student. Video of his arrest showed him being led out of the nearby home and into a Sheriff’s Office vehicle. He had fled the scene and hidden in the home nearby. He was taken into custody around 4 p.m., and the shooting was first reported at 2:30 p.m. It’s possible that he was able to escape because he fled with a crowd of panicked students.
A later photo surfaced that indicated he may have been taken to the hospital. It’s not clear if he was actually wounded or just taken to the hospital as a precaution. Reports from WSVN later indicated that he was escorted to Broward jail while still wearing his hospital gown.
Cruz had posted numerous photos on his Instagram account showing him with guns and knives in 2015 and 2016, talking about shooting being therapy for him. The account was later deleted. He had been reported for making threats to students in the past, according to the Miami Herald. Jim Gard, a math teacher, said that they had been told he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack, because there had been problems with him thr
Police has received tips that he may have been watching YouTube videos about making bombs, police scanner transmissions indicated. This video shows the suspect being arrested:
The Broward superintendent, Supt Runcie, said there were “numerous fatalities” and the situation was horrific. He said that this might be the deadliest mass shooting in Broward’s school history. Here are more screenshots from his social media posts. Some have observed that the orange tip on the gun in the photo below typically indicates a fake pistol or an airsoft.
The 19-year-old shooter went by cruz_nikolas on Instagram. His name was initially referred to as Nicolas on many accounts. His posts show a fixation with guns and knives, although the one photo on his Instagram of him with a gun appears to be an airsoft toy. In 2016 he posted: “I plan on getting this but I need more information on it so if someone could give advice on how much I’m spending and background cheeks please to god let me know.” He often talked about wanting to purchase guns and referred to shooting as “group therapy.” His Instagram posts also frequently displayed outbursts of anger, where he would post profanities about people in general.
This screenshot shows a quick look at many of the photos on his Instagram account:
A second Instagram site being attributed to him appears, so far, to not actually be the suspect’s social media account.
The tragic shooting has shaken the city of Parkland. If you are reading this story, consider donating to the official Stoneman Douglas GoFundMe for victims and their families, to support those who are dealing with unspeakable grief right now.