Speed Reads

parkland school shooting

Hurricane-proof glass, jammed rifle reportedly hindered the Parkland shooter's spree

The 19-year-old believed to have murdered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14 had 180 rounds of ammunition left when he set down his AR-15 rifle and ammo vest to escape the school with the rest of the fleeing students, CBS News reported Tuesday night, and it may be a combination of luck and happenstance that he did not kill more people.

Sources told CBS News that the alleged gunman, Nikolas Cruz, tried to create a "sniper's nest" in a third-floor stairwell, but the building's hurricane-proof glass appears to have thwarted his plans when the window did not shatter despite the 16 rounds he shot into it. Investigators also believe Cruz's rifle may have jammed when he then tried to reload, CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reported, and he apparently set it down and left. It is still unclear why he stopped firing, though.

Also, CBS News said, citing a federal law enforcement source, some of the gunman's ammunition magazines had swastikas on them, lending some credence to early reports that Cruz belonged to a white supremacist group.

Cruz had been kicked out of Stoneman Douglas in February 2017 for unspecified behavioral issues and told his only option was an alternative school for emotionally disturbed and disabled students, like the kind Cruz was placed in from eighth grade until January 2016, when he spent half the day at Stoneman Douglas and half at the alternative school, Broward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie said Tuesday. In November 2016, after he turned 18, he refused the mental health services the school offered, Runcie said.