Wednesday, Feb. 14 On Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, 17 students and staff were killed in a shooting waged by Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student, with an AR-15 rifle. Cruz fled the scene, dropping his rifle to blend in with students. After going to a Walmart and buying a drink at Subway, he was arrested without difficulty at a nearby McDonald’s.
Thursday, Feb. 15 Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. It was revealed that Cruz had been expelled for disciplinary reasons from the high school. He was described as troubled and often expressed violent thoughts. A neighbor said he believed he was diagnosed with autism. Cruz was adopted, and his mother died in November. Those close to Cruz said he took the loss hard.
President Trump addressed the nation in a speech about the shooting. In his speech, Trump expressed, “no child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school. No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning,” and that “we are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools, and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”
It was revealed that a YouTube account by the username of “nikolas cruz” had left a comment saying “I’m going to be a professional school shooter” under a video. The comment was flagged and subsequently taken down. While the FBI was alerted to the comment, many members of the public were disappointed that it appears to have been taken lightly by the bureau.The Miami FBI field office was never told about Cruz’s possible threat.
Saturday, Feb. 17 Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school and survivor of the shooting, delivered a powerful speech about her thoughts on the second amendment. She mentioned other countries that have successful gun laws and called attention to lawmakers and politicians receiving money from the NRA — including President Trump’s $30 million.
Monday, Feb. 19 The NSU community came together and held a vigil in honor of the lives lost and their grieving families. Speeches, poems and prayers were delivered at the vigil, including a message from Eden Hebron, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
Tuesday, Feb. 20 Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were in attendance when the Florida House voted down a motion to ban assault weapons like the AR-15 by 36-71. The bill will die unless the House votes to remove it from the assigned committees and allow it to be considered by the full House.
Wednesday, Feb. 21 CNN held a town hall meeting with Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, Representative Ted Deutch and NRA representative Dana Loesch. Among those who spoke were Emma Gonzalez, Fred Guttenberg, father of Jaime Guttenberg, a student who was killed in the shooting, and Cameron Kasky, another survivor. Some topics addressed were the money politicians received from the NRA, the validity of having rifles like the AR-15’s that have been used in two Florida shootings and the safety of children in schools.
Thursday, Feb. 22 President Trump tweeted “I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue — I hope!” Much of the talk about the shooting by politicians has been centered around the idea of mental health.
Friday, Feb. 23 Teachers at the high school were allowed to return to their campus for the first time since the shooting. District officials say this optional work day was not for lesson plans, but rather for teachers to receive the support and counseling needed in the wake of the tragedy that occured at their school, some of which took place in their own classrooms.
Saturday, Feb. 24 The public learned that an armed Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, the school resource officer, did not enter the school during the shooting. Three other Broward County officers also arrived at the school but didn’t enter until the Coral Springs Police had arrived.
Sunday, Feb. 25 Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said that he will not resign after facing criticism that Broward County Sheriff officers had not entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Israel said he was “disgusted” that the school’s armed resource officer hadn’t entered the school and would investigate the allegations toward other officers.
Wednesday, Feb. 28 Students are scheduled to return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Classes have been rearranged so that no students will have to enter building 12, where the shooting took place.
In the future
March 14 One month after the shooting, student organizers have planned a nationwide walkout at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes, to remember the 17 lives lost in the massacre. Students in the U.S. are asked to leave their classrooms, and schools if possible, during this period of time in support of the movement.
March 24 Organizers have planned a “March for our Lives” rally on March 24 in Washington. According to an event permit application, up to 500,000 people may be in attendance. Sister marches will take place in other locations around the US.
April 20 Another walkout is planned on April 20, which will mark the 19 years since the Columbine shooting in Colorado left 13 dead. Both planned walkouts are meant to be a peaceful protest of the nation’s “lax” gun laws.