PARKLAND, Fla. – A Florida grand jury on Wednesday indicted Nikolas Cruz on 34 counts of premeditated murder and attempted murder in connection with the Valentine’s Day shooting rampage that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
The 19-year-old gunman was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the first degree and 17 counts of attempted murder in the first degree.
He is accused of gunning down students and teachers in various classrooms on February 14.
In a span of about 10 minutes, Cruz roamed the halls and targeted those huddled in classrooms on the first and second floors before leaving the campus undetected in a crowd of students.
Details of the massacre were shared with the world as students texted goodbyes to loved ones, while others posted social media images and video of chairs overturned in classrooms and blood-stained floors.
The suspect was identified from school security videos and a Coral Springs officer later arrested Cruz as he walked along the side of a road.
Cruz confessed to being the gunman, according to a probable cause affidavit released shortly after his arrest.
His public defender described him as a “deeply disturbed, emotionally broken” young man who is coming to grips with the pain he has caused.
Cruz has been held without bond following a brief hearing in a Broward County court last month. The troubled young man appeared by video from jail during his initial court appearance and said nothing except to confirm his name. He nodded when he was told he couldn’t post bail.
Cruz is willing to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty, according to the public defender’s office representing him.