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Who is Nikolas Cruz, accused gunman in Florida high school attack?

Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 5:35 PM
Updated: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 8:47 AM

Who Is Nicolas De Jesus Cruz, Alleged Gunman In Florida School Shooting?

Prosecutors have charged Nikolas Cruz with 17 counts of premeditated murder after he allegedly opened fire Wednesday at a Florida high school he was kicked out of last year.

Cruz, 19, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., was arrested off-campus about an hour after the shootings began, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. 

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Cruz surrendered without incident, Israel said. He was picked up about a mile from the school.

The shooting began around 2:30 p.m. at the large school complex located in Broward County in southern Florida. Cruz allegedly pulled the fire alarm to get students out of classrooms and into the hallways. Just that morning, the school had conducted a fire drill.

Many students said they thought they were having another drill Wednesday afternoon when the alarm sounded and most teachers told them to head out of their classrooms.

According to law enforcement authorities, Cruz was waiting outside of the rooms.

As the students left the rooms, Cruz began firing. 

Here’s what we know about Cruz now:

  • Cruz’s mother died in November. His father had died years earlier.
  • He and his brother were adopted.
  • He went to live with a friend’s family after his mother’s death.
  • A childhood freind of Cruz’s told CNN he would introduce himself as a “school shooter.”
  • Cruz had been expelled from school.
  • He legally purchased an AR-15 rifle about a year ago.
  • He had posted “disturbing” material on social media, according to Israel.
  • Buzzfeed is reporting that the FBI was warned about a YouTube user named Nikolas Cruz after he posted in September that he was “going to be a professional school shooter.
  • The Associated Press reported that the leader of a white nationalist group in Florida confirmed Cruz is a member. Later on social media, the leader said there was a misunderstanding and that Cruz was not a member of the group.
  • The Miami Herald reports that a teacher at the school said Cruz had been identified as a potential threat to fellow students in the past. Math teacher Jim Gard told the Herald, “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”
  • The shooting started outside the building, then Cruz went into the school and continued shooting.
  • Authorities said he walked out with other students after the shootings.
  • He had “multiple” ammunition magazines.
  • He had an AR-15 weapon
  • He pulled the fire alarm as he went into the school and then began shooting.
  • After the shooting, he left the campus, went to a Subway located inside of a Walmart where he purchased a drink, then went to a McDonalds where he was arrested without incident.
  • His attorney says Cruz has been placed on a suicide watch. 
  • Cruz’s arrest affidavit says he confessed to the shootings.

This story will be updated.

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Who is Mark Anthony Conditt, the suspected Austin bomber?

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 9:57 AM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 12:07 PM

VIDEO: Who is Mark Anthony Conditt, the Suspected Austin Bomber?

The suspected Austin serial bomber who killed himself early Wednesday as authorities closed in on him was Pflugerville resident Mark A. Conditt, local and federal law enforcement sources told the American-Statesman and KVUE.


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Girl, bored with sister’s soccer game, makes 65-million-year-old fossil find

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 9:01 AM

FILE PHOTO (Makro_Wayland/Pixabay license:
FILE PHOTO (Makro_Wayland/Pixabay license:

An Oregon girl decided digging in the dirt was more her speed than watching her big sister’s JV soccer game. And that decision turned into a major discovery.

Naomi Vaughan found something that she called her “Moana rock” after it reminded her of the Heart of Te Fiti from the hit Disney film, last year, CNN reported.

The “Moana rock” turned out to be something that dated back at least 65 million years.

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It was actually an ancient fossil called an ammonite. Ammonites are extinct marine invertebrates, CNN reported.

Paleontologists told Oregon Live that they’re not normally found in Bend, but have been discovered more than 80 miles away.

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One paleontologist believes it came from an area further away, a town of Suplee, 112 miles east of Bend, Oregon Live reported. He believes that either there was a family connection between the two towns or that the fossil came from a school collection. 

And while well-preserved ammonite fossils can fetch big bucks -- up to thousands of dollars, Vaughan’s sample may be worth about $10 or $20.

Vaughan plans on keeping her find, Oregon Live reported.


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2 charged after woman found being eaten alive by maggots, police say

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 4:03 AM

Woman Found Being Eaten Alive By Maggots, 2 Charged

A Georgia woman was found covered in cockroaches and maggots, bedridden on a sheet smeared in feces, a police report says. 

Her caretakers and family members, 54-year-old Terry Ward Sorrells and 18-year-old Christian Alexander Sorrells, have both been charged with neglect of a disabled adult or elder person

>> On Cops: Home invaders tie up woman and son, steal jewelry

Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services responded to the Sugar Hill home where the woman lived with Terry Sorrells and Christian Sorrells on March 15 after receiving a call for medical assistance. The woman was unresponsive but still alive, the report says.

The AJC is not identifying the woman because she is an alleged victim of neglect.

>> MORE NEWS: 55 hours of terror, and a final blast in Austin serial bombings

When the fire crew arrived, they said they saw that maggots and roaches were eating the woman’s flesh and her legs were “completely black and showing signs of decomposition.” They had transported her a month earlier with a “mega mover” — a tarp-like object used by emergency medical technicians to move obese patients — and she was sitting on the same mega mover, now “completely brown and black” and covered in feces. The fire crew called police because “they did not believe she would live much longer and felt a moral obligation to report this,” the report says.

The living conditions inside the home on Pine Tree Circle were “deplorable,” the responding officer said in his report. The officer was “overwhelmed with the smell of human feces and garbage” when he walked into the house, and roaches were crawling on the walls and ceiling of “every single room,” the report says. Garbage lined the floor from the entryway to the kitchen, and covered the floor of the bathroom. In Terry Sorrells’ bedroom, there was a two-foot-high pile of empty Monster energy drink cans, with garbage piled in a closet and covering a dresser, the report says. 

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Terry Sorrells had gone with the woman in an ambulance before the officer arrived, but Christian Sorrells remained at the house. He told the officer that the woman had been bedridden for one or two years and had been progressively getting worse; she had been admitted into a long-term care facility, but returned home after Medicaid would not cover the cost, the report says. Christian Sorrells also told the officer that no one in the house worked. 

Christian Sorrells was transported to Gwinnett County police headquarters and Terry Sorrells was arrested later that day. Both were booked into the Gwinnett County Detention Center after 10 p.m. March 15. They remain in jail, each held on a $22,200 bond. 

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Trump: 'Crazy Joe Biden' would 'go down fast and hard' in a fight

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:58 AM

Trump Tweets Joe Biden Would ‘Go Down Fast and Hard’ In A Fight

President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Thursday to slam Joe Biden over controversial comments that the former vice president made at a rally Tuesday.

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