- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 15, 2018

Nikolas Cruz, the suspect involved in the shooting at a Florida high school, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder on Thursday after several hours of questioning by police.

The 19-year-old opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, his former school, Wednesday afternoon, while wearing a gas mask and throwing smoke grenades. So far, 17 people have been confirmed dead while another 15 remain in the hospital.

It was the deadliest school shooting since the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.

Mr. Cruz lost his mother to pneumonia in November, but was reportedly a troubled teen with students saying they tried to avoid having contact with him. He had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Authorities have not offered a motive at this time.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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