A former student accused of killing over a dozen of students and injuring more at a Florida high school Wednesday showed signs of erratic behavior, according to students who spoke to NBC 6.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, was captured by police about three-quarters of a mile from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shortly after he opened fire.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz carried out the attack with at least one AR-15 rifle as well as multiple magazines. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson said the suspect had smoke grenades and a gas mask as well.
There were signs of trouble in Cruz, students said, with some guessing he was responsible for the attack before his identity was confirmed.
Israel said investigators were dissecting the suspect's social media posts, saying that "some of the things that have come to mind are very, very disturbing." He didn't elaborate.
Cruz is one of two sons of Roger and Lynda Cruz, who are both dead, according to records obtained by NBC Miami.
Lynda died in November 2017 and Roger died in August 2004. They were married in July 2002, according to records. It wasn't clear whether Cruz is their biological son.
Authorities are searching a home about 5 miles away from the school that belongs to the family that took Cruz in after his mother died, NBC 6 has learned.
The family's attorney James Lewis spoke to a reporter and said they saw no signs that Cruz was going to shoot up the school. The family also said they have a son that attends Douglas High School. The family asked not to be identified.
“He was just erratic," senior Sebastian Toala told NBC 6. "He was always talking about doing crazy things. He was just never right in the head.”
Senior Eddie Bonilla said he met Cruz his sophomore year and described him as "a little bit off" and "troubled."
Cruz used to show off his guns, brag about shooting them "for fun" and "threatened to bring the guns to school multiple times," Bonilla said.
"I never really got close to him because I always had a feeling there was something wrong," Toala said.
Students "threw jokes around that he'd be the one to shoot up the school," Bonilla said.
Israel said Cruz was expelled for disciplinary reasons, but was unsure of the specifics. Bonilla said that he Cruz often got in trouble for threatening other students.
Toala said Cruz was teased and bullied for his "erratic behavior," but would also laugh and go along with it. Bonilla said it wasn't teasing, but Cruz pushed people to comment on his unusual behavior.