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Florida school shooting suspect was ex-student who may have been flagged as threat

Students and staff tell what happened inside Douglas high school

Students and faculty talk about the moments when a shooter entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire.
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Students and faculty talk about the moments when a shooter entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire.

The former student suspected of opening fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland may been identified a potential threat to fellow students in the past, according to one teacher.

The 19-year-old ex-student, who has been detained by Broward police, has not been publicly identified as a suspect. But a law-enforcement source identified him as Nicolas Cruz.

“We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him,” said math teacher Jim Gard, who said Cruz had been in his class last year. “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”

The Broward County School District Superintendent, however, told reporters on Wednesday afternoon that he did not know of any concerns raised about the student.

“We received no warnings,” Superintendent Robert Runcie told reporters outside the school. “Potentially there could have been signs out there. But we didn't have any warning or phone calls or threats that were made.”

As for Gard, he said he believes the school administration earlier sent out an e-mail warning teachers that the student had made threats against others in the past and that he should not be allowed on the campus with a backpack.

Another student interviewed on the scene by WSVN-7 said the student had guns at home and talked about using them.

Cruz was detained Monday afternoon and was being transported to a Broward Health North in Pompano Beach.

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