School shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz to plead guilty, public defender says

Posted at 4:07 PM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-16 19:24:26-05

PARKLAND, Fla. (KGTV AND CNN) - School shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz plans to plead guilty, according to Howard Finkelstein, Broward County public defender.

17 people were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Wednesday.

Cruz, 19, was arrested nearby after the shooting. He confessed to police, according to the Associated Press. He faces 17 counts of premeditated murder.

“It’s to avoid the unnecessary arduous long painful traumatic reenactment of something that is so horrific the families and the community should not have to relive," Finkelstein told CNN. "Everybody knows who committed the crime and that the only question is does he live or does he die."

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He continued: "It seems it’s in no one’s interest to do the same old legal dance we have seen play out across the country way too many times.

This is an opportunity to put the criminal case behind and help the victims’ families begin to try and pick up pieces of their lives for our community to heal and to figure out how we stop these things from ever happening again,” Finkelstein said

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10News is monitoring breaking developments.