Shortly after authorities identified the suspect accused of killing at least 17 people in a Florida school shooting, reports began to surface indicating he had long exhibited a pattern of disturbing behavior.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz has been described as a “troubled” student by a former schoolmate, who said the suspect used to joke about staging a mass school shooting.
Officials confirmed Cruz had previously been expelled for disciplinary issues, though further details were not immediately available.
Fox News provided additional reports, including from multiple teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who described “warning signs” exhibited by the former student. The Parkland school was also the scene of Wednesday’s mass shooting.
Robert Runcie, the district’s superintendent, said he did not know of any specific warnings submitted in reference to threats or suspicious behavior by Cruz.
According to WJXT, a student said “everyone predicted” the suspect would execute such a massacre.
“Honestly, a lot of people were saying it was gonna be him,” the individual claimed, adding that classmates joked about his plans to “shoot up the school.”
The student went on to say Cruz “knows the school layout” and knew what to expect when he pulled a fire alarm following another fire drill earlier in the day.
“He’s been with us in fire drills, he’s prepared for this stuff,” the student said.
Another student told WSVN that he “stayed clear” of Cruz while they attended school together.
The Miami Herald spoke to a man identified as Cruz’s former teacher, who said the student exhibited threatening behavior.
“We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” said Jim Gard. “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”
[Featured image: Associated Press]