PARKLAND, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A law enforcement official says the former student suspected of killing at least 17 people at a Florida high school posted “very, very disturbing” material on social media before the deadly shooting rampage.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said the suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for unspecified disciplinary reasons.
Israel said investigators were dissecting the suspect’s social media posts.
“And some of the things that have come to mind are very, very disturbing,” he added without elaborating.
Just before the shooting broke out Wednesday afternoon, some students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School thought they were having another fire drill.
Such an exercise had forced them to leave their classrooms hours earlier. So when the alarm went off again shortly before they were to be dismissed, they once again filed out into the hallways.
That’s when police said Cruz, equipped with a gas mask, smoke grenades and multiple magazines of ammunition, opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon, killing 17 people and sending hundreds of students fleeing into the streets.
“We were in the corner, away from the windows,” said freshman Max Charles, who said he heard five gunshots. “The teacher locked the door and turned off the light. I thought maybe I could die or something.”
“As soon as the fire alarm got pulled and kids were evacuating, I heard five pops,” another student said.
Outside, the wounded were triaged on the ground as classmates ran past searching for a safe place. Inside, kids hid under their desks as a SWAT team with guns drawn cleared every room.
“For like 30 minutes, we were like praying and crying and then the police came and we just got out,” said freshman Bruna Aleveda.
Cruz was taken into custody without a fight about an hour after the shooting in a residential neighborhood about a mile away. He had multiple magazines of ammunition, authorities said.
“It’s catastrophic. There really are no words,” said Israel.
Cruz’s mother Lynda Cruz died of pneumonia on Nov. 1 neighbors, friends and family members said, according to the Sun Sentinel. Cruz and her husband, who died of a heart attack several years ago, adopted Nikolas and his biological brother, Zachary, after the couple moved from Long Island to Broward County.
The boys were left in the care of a family friend after their mother died, family member…