The prime suspect in the Florida high school shooting confessed to the Valentine's Day massacre, a police report has claimed.
Nikolas Cruz “stated that he was 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 affidavit from the Broward County Sheriff's Office stated.
His plan, it said, was to discard the gun and a vest holding extra magazines so he could “blend in with the crowd”.
It appeared to work as the 19-year-old “blended in with fleeing students and was able to elude arriving officers”, it added.
He later stopped and bought a drink at a Subway inside a Walmart, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, and then entered a McDonald’s. He was arrested 40 minutes later.
Officer Michael Leonard of the Coconut Creek Police Department told reporters Mr Cruz was held without incident. He recognised him from a description sent out over the radio.
Mr Cruz also admitted to bringing additional loaded magazines and keeping them hidden in a backpack until he began firing, the affidavit said.
The suspected shooter’s parents are deceased and he had been living with another family for the last few months, it added.
A witness quoted in the affidavit described Mr Cruz as a “former troubled student,” echoing descriptions from some of his classmates. Authorities have said Mr Cruz was expelled for bad behaviour.
He has been charged with 17 counts of murder.
The FBI has also confirmed that it received a tip about an online comment, posted last year under the name “nikolascruz,” proclaiming: “Im going to be a professional school shooter”.
It is unclear the suspect is the same person that wrote the comment.
However, Sheriff Israel had previously called some of Mr Cruz’s online postings “very disturbing”.
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