The Latest: Sheriff: School gunman fired into 5 classrooms

PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) – The Latest on a deadly school shooting at a Florida high school (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

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 first 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 second 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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5:15 p.m.

A Florida sheriff says the suspect in a school shooting that killed 17 people stopped at fast food restaurants after the attack.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a news conference Thursday that Nikolas Cruz tried to mix in with a group of students fleeing the school. The sheriff says he then headed to a Wal-Mart and bought a drink at a Subway restaurant before walking to a McDonald’s.

Israel says Cruz was confronted by a police officer and taken into custody about 40 minutes after leaving the McDonald’s.

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4:30 p.m.

A law enforcement official says he knows of “no known ties” between the suspect who confessed to a deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school and a white supremacist group.

Lt. Grady Jordan is a spokesman for the Leon County Sheriff’s Office in Tallahassee, where the white nationalist militia known as the Republic of Florida is based. Jordan said Thursday that his office has arrested militia leader Jordan Jereb at least four times since January 2014 and has been monitoring the group’s membership.

He says his office has “very solid” information on the group and “there’s no known ties that we have that we can connect” 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz with the group.

Jereb told The Associated Press earlier Thursday that Cruz was a member and participated in paramilitary drills in Tallahassee.

Jereb said he didn’t know Cruz personally and that “he acted on his own behalf of what he just did and he’s solely responsible for what he just did.”

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4 p.m.

A Broward County Sheriff’s Office report says Nikolas 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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3:25 p.m.

An attorney for the 19-year-old Florida man accused of killing 17 people at a high school says her client is sad and remorseful.

Public defender Melisa McNeill told reporters Thursday that Nikolas Cruz is fully aware of what’s going on but he’s also just a “broken human being.” McNeill spoke after a judge ordered Cruz held without bond. She had her arm around Cruz during the brief hearing.

She became emotional while speaking to reporters, saying she’s fully aware of the impact the shooting has had on the community.

Cruz is accused of opening fire Wednesday afternoon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

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2:50 p.m.

Uber has confirmed that the suspect in the deadly shooting rampage at a Florida high school used the ridesharing service before the shooting.

The company says it’s assisting law enforcement with the investigation.

The company wouldn’t answer questions about whether the Uber driver noticed anything concerning about the suspect’s behavior or if he was carrying a gun or a large case.

Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz is accused of opening fire Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, killing 17 people. A judge Thursday afternoon ordered him to be held without bond on 17 counts of murder.

Associated Press writer Mike Balsamo reported from Los Angeles.

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2:40 p.m.

The police officer who arrested the high school shooting suspect in Florida says the teen looked like a “typical high school student” when he spotted him walking away from the school.

Coconut Creek police officer Michael Leonard said his department was responding to the shooting Wednesday afternoon when he saw someone matching the description of the suspect. Leonard says he stopped him and he was taken into custody without incident.

Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz is accused of opening fire Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, killing 17 people. A judge Thursday afternoon ordered him to be held without bond on 17 counts of murder.

Nikolas Cruz

2:25 p.m.

Two federal law enforcement officials say the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 rifle used in the deadly rampage at a high school was purchased legally at Sunrise Tactical Supply in Florida.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were briefed on the investigation but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz is accused of opening fire Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, killing 17 people. A judge Thursday afternoon ordered him to be held without bond on 17 counts of murder.

Associated Press writer Sadie Gurman reported from Washington. Mike Balsamo reported from Los Angeles.

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2:05 p.m.

A Florida judge has ordered that the suspect in a deadly shooting rampage at a high school will be held without bond on 17 counts of murder.

Nineteen-year-old Nikolas 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.

Cruz is accused of opening fire Wednesday afternoon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, killing 17 people.

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12:50 p.m.

The leader of a white nationalist militia says Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz was a member of his group and participated in paramilitary drills in Tallahassee.

Jordan Jereb told The Associated Press on Thursday that his group wants Florida to become its own white ethno-state. He said his group holds “spontaneous random demonstrations” and tries not to participate in the modern world.

Jereb said he didn’t know Cruz personally and that “he acted on his own behalf of what he just did and he’s solely responsible for what he just did.”

He also said he had “trouble with a girl” and he believed the timing of the attack, carried out on Valentine’s Day, wasn’t a coincidence.

Nineteen-year-old Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the shooting.

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12:35 p.m.

The Dollar Tree retail chain confirms that the Florida high school shooting suspect worked at their store in Parkland.

In a Thursday statement, the Dollar Tree says they’ll share any information about 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz with local and federal officials that may help with the investigation. The retailer also expressed sympathy for the Parkland community and those affected by the Wednesday attack that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the shooting.

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12:25 p.m.

A sheriff’s deputy responding to a report of gunfire at a private school near the site of a mass shooting a Florida high school accidentally fired his gun, injuring his leg.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that the deputy was among law enforcement officers responding to reports of shots being fired at North Broward Preparatory School on Thursday morning. He was treated for his injuries at the scene and no one else was injured.

The initial report was investigated and sheriff’s officials said it was unfounded.

In the meantime, all Broward County high schools are on a “code yellow,” which means students should remain in classrooms with doors locked. Officials said this is precautionary following the Wednesday afternoon shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which is a suburb of Fort Lauderdale.

Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the Wednesday afternoon shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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11:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump said the nation is “joined together as one American family” after a shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people.

In a national address from the White House on Thursday, Trump said he wanted to speak directly to America’s children, saying “you are never alone, and you never will be.” He said no child should have to go to school fearing for their lives.

Trump said he’ll travel to Florida meet with victims’ families, explore how to better secure schools and “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”

He did not mention guns or gun control.

Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the Wednesday afternoon shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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11:20 a.m.

A Florida sheriff says there was an armed officer on campus at the time of a deadly high school shooting.

But Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Thursday the officer never encountered the suspect during the Wednesday afternoon attack that killed 17 people.

Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the Wednesday afternoon shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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10:55 a.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he’ll sit down with state leaders and work on how they can make sure people with mental illness aren’t able to get guns.

Scott spoke Thursday a day after a shooting left 17 people dead at a high school. He said leaders will look at how they can make sure something like that never happens again.

FBI agent Rob Lasky says the FBI investigated a 2017 YouTube comment that said “I’m going to be a professional school shooter”; but the agency couldn’t identify the person making the comment.

Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the Wednesday afternoon shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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10:10 a.m.

Kentucky’s Republican governor says he’s heartbroken over a school shooting in Florida that killed 17 just weeks after a similar shooting at a high school in his state.

Gov. Matt Bevin told talk radio hosts his heart is truly broken for the people of Florida and the community has been shattered in a similar way that Kentucky was in January. He said guns are not the reason for increase in school shootings, but blamed a culture that delegitimizes life through violent video games, TV shows and music lyrics.

Bevin called video games where people kill others “garbage” and said “it’s the same as pornography.” He said “freedom of speech” has been abused by allowing things that are “filthy and disgusting and have no redeemable value.”

Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the Wednesday afternoon shooting in Parkland, Florida.

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