SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on developments in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting (all times local):
Prosecutors have released video of the police interrogation of Parkland school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz in which he claims a demonic voice in his head urged him to do violence.
The video release Wednesday comes after authorities previously made public a transcript of the interview conducted hours after the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Both were edited to remove Cruz’s direct confession to the crime.
The hours of video show Cruz and Broward Sheriff’s Detective John Curcio in a police interrogation room, with the camera angle from above. Cruz, dressed in hospital clothing and not handcuffed, initially speaks so softly Curcio repeatedly urges him to talk louder.
Much of their conversation focused on what the 19-year-old Cruz insisted was a voice that told him things like “burn, kill, destroy.” Cruz also mutters “kill me” when Curcio is out of the room.
Cruz faces the death penalty if convicted.
When classes resume at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School next week, visitors will have only one way in to enter and will be screened through a video intercom before entering. Classroom doors will remain locked at all times and 18 security monitors will patrol the campus.
The Broward County School District has been under intense criticism for not doing more to protect students after a gunman opened fire at the Parkland, Florida, school on Valentine’s Day, killing 17 people.
During a tour Wednesday, officials said the school will have a dozen campus security monitors, three security specialists and three school resource officers who will patrol new fences and gates at the beginning and end of the day to ensure that only staff and students wearing ID badges are entering.
The sheriff leading the state commission investigating the Florida school massacre says the suspect’s behavior before the shooting was a “roller-coaster,” where he would have stretches of good conduct before it deteriorated.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission that Nikolas Cruz’s fluctuating behavior made it difficult for school officials to determine how he should be handled. Cruz is charged with killing 17 people there Feb. 14.
A report released by school officials last week said he began showing behavioral issues that got him kicked out of pre-kindergarten. Gualtieri said there were times in middle school and at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that Cruz’s behavior “dive-bombed,” and he required an escort to monitor him.