A timeline of the school shooter’s deadly day is beginning to take shape, as it emerged he took an Uber to the school to begin his carnage, and afterwards stopped at fast food chains.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, who was living with another family after his mother died, was supposed to go to GED classes, but when the father woke him up to drop him off on his way to work, he said something to the effect of ‘It’s Valentine’s Day. I don’t go to school on Valentine’s Day,’ according to a lawyer for the family.
‘They just blew it off,’ attorney Jim Lewis said. ‘This is some 19-year-old that didn’t want to get up and go to school that day, and (they) left it at that.’
Cruz then took an Uber to the school he was expelled from, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland.
Uber is currently working with authorities, and the company has declined to say if Cruz’s driver noticed anything off about their passenger on Wednesday.
Authorities say Cruz told officers he ‘brought additional loaded magazines to the school campus and kept them hidden in a backpack until he got on campus to begin his assault.’
He was armed with an AR-15 rifle, and was wearing a vest that was holding additional ammunition.
Sen. Bill Nelson told CNN that Cruz had pulled the fire alarm ‘so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall.’
‘And there the carnage began,’ said Nelson, who said he was briefed by the FBI.
That jives with what Cruz told investigators that he began shooting the students in the hallways first.
Cruz told investigators that as students fled, he discarded his rifle and took off his vest so he could blend in with the crowd. Both the vest and the rifle were later recovered by police.
After fleeing, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel during a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Cruz stopped at a Subway restaurant and bought a drink.
He then continued on to a Walmart, and briefly sat at a McDonald’s while authorities feverishly searched the area for him.
About 30 minutes later, Coconut Creek police officer Michael Leonard spotted Cruz walking down a nearby residential street.
‘He looked like a typical high school student and for a quick moment, I thought could this be the person?’ Leonard said. ‘Is this who I need to stop?’
Leonard said he pulled over and confronted the suspected 19-year-old mass murderer.
‘He complied with my commands and was taken into custody without any issues,’ the officer said.
It appears he was arrested around, or shortly before 4pm.
After he was arrested, he was first taken to an area hospital before being taken to police headquarters.
He confessed to the shooting spree that left 17 dead.
Cruz legally purchased the AR-15 rifle used in the assault at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in February of 2017, according to authorities.
Cruz brought it to the family’s home, where he moved into aorund Thanksgiving.
It was kept in a locked cabinet that the teen had a key to.
Two federal law enforcement officials said the Smith & Wesson M&P rifle was purchased legally at Sunrise Tactical Supply in Coral Springs, Florida.
Federal law allows people 18 and over to legally purchase long guns. At 21, people can legally buy handguns from a licensed dealer.
He was ordered to be held without bond during a hearing on Thursday afternoon.