In the latest chilling report about the Parkland, Fla. high school shooting that claimed the lives of 17 people (14 of them teenage students), CNN reports that shooter Nikolas Cruz had at least 150 rounds of ammunition left in his AR-15 when he stopped shooting and fled Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. His gun had reportedly jammed, forcing him to end the assault.
If the gun hadn’t jammed, the death toll could’ve been much, much higher, CBS said.
Cruz had also reportedly etched swastikas into the sides of the magazines that contained the left over ammunition.
It’s still not clear why Cruz stopped firing when he did (though we imagine it’s possible that the firearm jammed). The news follows reports that Cruz attempted to shatter a hurricane window on the third floor in the school’s teacher’s lounge during the shooting. Had he been able to penetrate the window, it’s probable that he could’ve killed many more people, who likely wouldn’t have been able to ascertain where the bullets were coming from. Police have speculated that he might’ve used this stairwell vantage point to kill first responders who arrived on scene.
Meanwhile, CNN also disclosed that one of Cruz’s former neighbors, a woman named Joelle Guarino, said she tried to warn authorities about Cruz seven years ago, and that he began displaying troubling behavior as early as age 12.
The shooting has sparked a national debate over the role of military-style semi-automatic weapons and whether more restrictions should be placed on their availability.
Earlier today, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that it was “going to take a stand” and announced it would permanently ban sales of AR-15s and other assault-style rifles from its stores – a move that could benefit rivals like Cabela’s.
Cruz exhibited many warning signs that were reported to both local, state and federal authorities, but in each instance, were promptly ignored.
The Florida Department of Children and Families investigated Cruz in 2016, and police records show deputies were called to his home more than three dozen times over a seven-year period.
Cruz had begun refusing mental health treatment about a year before the shooting. Jordan Jereb, the leader of white nationalist group Republic of Florida, had initially claimed Cruz was a member of his group but later walked back the claim and local law enforcement said there was no proof that Cruz and Jereb ever met.