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Fla. high school gunman took Uber to school, blended in with fleeing crowd of students

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By GARY DETMAN, CBS12

PARKLAND, Fla. (WPEC) - New information is emerging about the 19-year-old who investigators say killed 17 people in a mass shooting at a high school in South Florida.

Nikolas Cruz is being held at the Broward County Jail on 17 counts of premeditated murder. He is due in court Thursday afternoon, according to CNN.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office will give a news conference at 10:15 a.m. President Donald Trump is set to speak at 11 a.m. Doctors at Broward North hospital are holding a news conference at noon.

The Broward County superintendent of schools told CBS News Cruz arrived on campus in an Uber. As deputies with the Broward County Sheriff's Office responded to the school, they came in contact with hundreds of students fleeing the school. The sheriff's office said Cruz "concealed himself in the crowd" and ran out of the school.

One student bumped into him and recalled the chilling encounter to CBS12.

"As I was speaking to him, he seemed very, um, he was very troubled in middle school, so as I was speaking to him, I said, 'I'm surprised you weren't the one who did it,' and he just gave me a, 'Huh?'" said Alexa Miednik.

Another student told CBS12 reporter Michael Buczyner that Cruz pulled a fire alarm to get students into the hallway before he opened fire.

The sheriff's office said deputies reviewed surveillance video at the school and identified Cruz as the suspect. Coconut Creek Police arrested Cruz in Coral Springs. Police had him evaluated at the hospital before taking him to jail.

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The Associated Press reports law enforcement sources say Cruz legally purchased the AR-15 rifle used in the shooting a year ago.

Investigators identified 12 of the 17 victims but their names have not been released. Aaron Feis, a football coach and security guard, is among those killed in the shooting.

Classes and activities at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been canceled for the rest of the week, according to the district.

Broward Health Systems said it took in 14 people from the shooting, including the gunman. Two victims died. Eight people remain hospitalized at Broward North. Three patients are in critical condition.

SEARCH WARRANTS

Investigators are waiting for a search warrant to get into a home along Loxahatchee Road near Parkland where Cruz lived for the last three months. He moved there in November after his mother died and he had no where else to live. The family says they helped out the 19-year-old because he knew another student at Douglas High who was a mutual friend.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office assisted in a search at a second scene at a mobile home park in Lantana. Sources told CBS12 reporter Chuck Weber the suspect may have lived there with his brother.

PROCLAMATION FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP

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President Trump Thursday ordered all flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of the shooting victims. The president is scheduled to address the nation at 11 a.m. Trump said on Twitter the gunman, previously expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, showed many signs of being mentally disturbed.

"Our Nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones in the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. As a mark of solemn respect for the victims of the terrible act of violence perpetrated on February 14, 2018, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, February 19, 2018. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

"IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second."

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