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Florida school shooting suspect booked on 17 counts of premeditated murder, could face death penalty

Image source: TheBlaze

Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in Wednesday's Florida school shooting, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

What are the details?

Cruz, 19, reportedly opened fire on students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people and injuring at least 14 more.

Cruz was a former student at the school and had been expelled for disciplinary problems.

According to Florida state law, if Cruz is convicted and a jury unanimously recommends the death penalty, a judge could enforce the execution.

Florida state law specifies that a person sentenced to death could elect death by electrocution or lethal injection.

Anything else?

Cruz's mother died in November, and he was staying with a local friend's family. Cruz's father died over a decade ago.

Attorney Jim Lewis, a lawyer for the family Cruz was staying with, said he had been told that Cruz legally owned the AR-15 rifle reportedly used in the deadly shooting.

According to the Washington Post, authorities confirmed that Cruz did purchase the weapon himself.

Peter J. Forcelli, special agent in charge of the Miami field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said that Cruz "purchased the firearm legally."

"No laws were broken in his acquisition of the firearm," Forcelli added.

Lewis told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the family Cruz was staying with knew about the weapon.

"It was his gun," Lewis said. "The family made him keep it in a locked gun cabinet in the house but he had a key."

The number of charges could change depending on whether more victims succumb to their injuries.

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