On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz, who was 19 at the time, took a legally purchased AR-15 assault rifle into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and began shooting randomly at people.
Nikolas Cruz, the former student accused in the February 14, 2018 shooting rampage at a high school in Parkland, Florida, will plead guilty to murdering 17 people, his lawyer has told a court.
"It is our intent to enter a change of plea as to both cases, to all charges," attorney David Wheeler told a judge on Friday, indicating that Cruz would drop his initial innocent plea both for the murders and for physically attacking a jail officer after his arrest.
Cruz, who was 19 at the time, took a legally purchased AR-15 assault rifle into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, his former school, killing 17 students and staff members.
The Valentine's Day attack was the country's worst school massacre since the horror at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, which left 26 dead.
Now 23, Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder for those he wounded in the attack.
The shooting stunned the country and sparked new efforts, led by students from the school itself, for tougher gun controls, although the polarized US Congress has yet to enact meaningful gun reform.
Cruz bought the weapon legally, despite having been in local records as having a history of mental health problems.
When he was arraigned on March 13, 2018, a "not guilty" plea was entered for Cruz as prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty in the case.
At the time his lawyers let it be known that he would offer a guilty plea if the death penalty was taken off the table.
It was not clear on Friday if any such deal had been reached.
In reaction to the news, Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was killed in the attack, called on people to "remember the victims."
"Remember Jaime," he wrote on Twitter.