School gunman fired into 5 classrooms, sheriff says; Bond denied

PARKLAND, Fla. — A Florida sheriff says the suspect in a high school shooting that killed 17 people fired into five classrooms before dropping his rifle and fleeing on foot.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel says 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz fired into three rooms on the second floor of the school in Parkland, then went back and fired again into two of those rooms. He says the shooter fired into one other room on that floor before moving to the third floor and shooting one person in a classroom there.

The sheriff says the gunman then dropped his rifle and backpack containing extra ammunition and ran out of the school. As he crossed fields, he tried to blend in with fleeing students.

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A Florida judge has ordered that the suspect be held without bond on 17 counts of murder.

Cruz was wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands cuffed at his waist during the Thursday afternoon hearing.

His attorney did not contest the order and had her arm around Cruz during the brief court appearance.

A Broward County Sheriff’s Office report says Cruz confessed to being the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

According to the report, he told interrogating officers that he “began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on school grounds” on Wednesday afternoon.

The report 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.

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