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Florida Senator Marco Rubio says suspected school shooter should be executed

Prosecutor has called case the kind 'death penalty was designed for'

Jeremy B. White
San Francisco
Monday 19 February 2018 20:12 GMT
Marco Rubio believes Florida shooter should get death penalty

The man accused of killing 17 people at a Florida high school should be executed, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio has said.

“The answer is yes,” Senator Mr Rubio said after being asked whether suspect Nikolas Cruz should be given the death penalty if convicted, noting that “I’d imagine most people” would agree.

An attorney representing Cruz, who has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder over the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland but has not yet entered a plea, told reporters his client is willing to plead guilty in an effort to avoid the death penalty.

But State Attorney Michael Satz said in a statement that a case like Cruz’s “is the type of case the death penalty was designed for”.

“This was a highly calculated and premeditated murder of 17 people and the attempted murder of everyone in that school,” Mr Satz said.

An arrest document alleges that Cruz admitted to having been “the gunman who entered the school campus armed with a AR-15 and began shooting students that he saw on the hallways and on the school grounds”.

The FBI has said it received a tip earlier this year that claimed Cruz "had the desire to kill" but failed to investigate fully.

Mr Cruz appeared briefly in court on Monday, a chain encircling his waist and his eyes downcast as attorneys discussed the logistics of his case before a judge.

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