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Confessed Parkland shooter formally charged with murder

Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who has confessed to carrying out last month's shooting spree at a Florida high school, has been formally charged with murder, The Associated Press reported Wednesday. Cruz was indicted by a Florida grand jury on 17 counts of murder, meaning the state could pursue the death penalty.

On Feb. 14, Cruz killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A former student at the school, Cruz entered the building armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle, which he had purchased legally after passing a background check, and was never confronted by the armed security guard stationed there. The shooting has sparked nationwide calls for gun reform, driven in particular by the efforts of the school's teenaged students to pressure lawmakers into action.