- By Hannah Winston Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Before Nikolas Cruz opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 people, on Wednesday, a witness radioed to a co-worker they saw the former student walk on campus wearing a backpack and carrying a duffle bag, according to an arrest report released Thursday afternoon.
Within a minute, the witness told deputies he heard gunshots and called out a “Code Red” alert, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office report said.
Cruz made his first appearance in court on 17 counts of premeditated murder. He is being held without bail and is on suicide watch.
According to the report, the witness, whose name and title are redacted from the report, said when he saw Cruz walk on campus and recognized him as “a former troubled student,” He said radioed a coworker to let them know Cruz was “walking purposefully toward” a building in the school.
Then, gunshots rang out and students fled. The sheriff’s office said Cruz made his way out of the school by blending into the rush of students fleeing the building.
An hour later, Cruz was arrested in a nearby neighborhood.
Cruz admitted to the shooting and said he had additional magazines for the AR-15 rifle he brought on campus, but hid them in his backpack until he started shooting.
Cruz told investigators in the chaos of the shooting, he decided to drop his weapon and the extra magazines so he could run out with everyone else.
In the report, investigators do not mention any motive in the shooting.
Investigators later discovered that Cruz took an Uber to the school.
Authorities said Cruz was living with a family on the 7200 Loxahatchee Road in Parkland after both of his parents died. The family said Cruz had lived at the home for the last few months. On Thursday afternoon, authorties remained outside of that address.