Florida shooter confesses

Nikolas Cruz has confessed to being the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, according to local police report.

Elad Benari,

Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz
Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz

Nikolas Cruz has confessed to being the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, according to a Broward County Sheriff's Office report quoted by The Associated Press.

The report says Cruz told interrogating officers that he "began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on school grounds" on Wednesday afternoon.

It 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.

Earlier on Thursday, Cruz was charged with murder in the deaths of 17 people who were fatally shot in Wednesday’s mass shooting.

As the criminal case against Cruz took shape, the leader of a white nationalist militia called the Republic of Florida said Cruz was a member of his group and participated in exercises in Tallahassee, according to AP.

Jordan Jereb told the news agency that did not know Cruz personally and that "he acted on his own behalf" and is "solely responsible for what he just did."

He also said Cruz had "trouble with a girl" and that he believed the timing of the attack, on Valentine's Day, was not a coincidence.

Cruz legally purchased the AR-15 rifle used in the assault at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, law enforcement officials told AP.

He was ordered to be held without bond during a hearing on Thursday afternoon.

Of the 17 victims in Wednesday’s massacre, five have been identified as Jews, a spokesperson for the ZAKA emergency response group reported Thursday. A sixth was wounded in the melee.