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Nikolas Cruz Officially Charged In The Parkland Shooting With 17 Counts Of Premeditated Murder

The Parkland shooter has been indicted on 34 counts including premeditated murder and attempted murder in the incident that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Tragedy Strikes in Florida High School Shooting

The shooter who brought a rifle to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has been officially indicted.

A grand jury in Broward County indicted Nikolas Cruz, 19,  with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the first degree and 17 counts of attempted murder in the first degree on Wednesday for the February shooting that left 17 dead in Parkland, Florida, reports CNN. A probable cause affidavit released after his arrest states that Cruz admitted to the act, which has been described as one of the most deadly mass shootings in modern history.

The indictment lists the victims that were killed in the mass shooting incident as followed: Luke Hoyer, Martin Duque-Anquiano, Gina Mantalto, Alexander Schachter, Alaina Petty, Alyssa Alhadeff, Nicholas Dworet, Helena Ramsay, Christopher Hixon, Carmen Schentrup, Aaron Feis, Scott Biegel, Meadow Pollack, Cara Loughran, Joaquin Oliver-Padauy, Jaime Guttenberg and Peter Wang.

As previously reported, some that knew Cruz described him as moody and violent. In the past, authorities were called to his home 39 times since 2010, ranging from reasons described as "mentally ill person" to "child/elderly abuse." His brother admitted to bullying Cruz and shared that the teen experienced trauma watching his father die. Early on in life, Cruz was diagnosed with depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, emotional behavioral disability and autism according to Department of Children and Families records, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

He is currently incarcerated and being kept separated from the general pool of inmates due to the high profile nature of the case. Visits with Cruz appear to be limited, with only one unidentified family member meeting him at the jail. Other than that, Cruz has only spoke with corrections officers, his defense attorneys and medical professionals.

The teen potentially faces life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder. However, Cruz's legal team plans on pleading guilty if the death penalty is taken off the table, according to USA Today. The public defender described Cruz as a "deeply disturbed, emotionally broken" young man who is coming to terms with the pain he has caused. 

[Photo: Getty Images]