PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel says the suspect in a high school shooting that killed 17 people fired into five classrooms before dropping his rifle and fleeing on foot.
Israel says 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz fired into three rooms on the first floor of the school in Parkland, then went back and fired again into two of those rooms. He says the shooter fired into one other room on that floor before moving to the second floor and shooting one person in a classroom there.
The sheriff says the gunman then dropped his rifle and backpack containing extra ammunition and ran out of the school. As he crossed fields, he tried to blend in with fleeing students.
The sheriff says he then headed to a Wal-Mart and bought a drink at a Subway restaurant before walking to a McDonald’s.
Israel says Cruz was confronted by a police officer and taken into custody about 40 minutes after leaving the McDonald’s.
A Broward County Sheriff’s Office report says Nikolas Cruz confessed to being the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
According to the report, he told interrogating officers that he “began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on school grounds” on Wednesday afternoon.
The report adds that 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.”
Cruz told investigators that as students began to flee, he decided to discard his AR-15 rifle and a vest he was wearing so he could blend in with the crowd. Police recovered the rifle and the vest.
The police report adds that Cruz purchased the rifle in February 2017, but does not say where it was purchased.