PARKLAND, Fla. — Officials provided an update Thursday afternoon on the school shooting that took 17 lives Wednesday.
Watch the news conference in the video player above.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said the suspect fired into five classrooms before dropping his rifle and fleeing on foot.
Israel said 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz fired into three rooms on the second floor of the school in Parkland, then went back and fired again into two of those rooms.
Cruz then fired into one other room on that floor before moving to the third floor and shooting one person in a classroom there, Israel said.
The sheriff said the gunman then dropped his rifle and backpack containing extra ammunition and ran out of the school. As he crossed fields, he tried to blend in with fleeing students.
The sheriff said he then headed to a Walmart and bought a drink at a Subway restaurant before walking to a McDonald’s. Israel said Cruz was confronted by a police officer and taken into custody about 40 minutes after leaving the McDonald’s.
Cruz had once been expelled from the high school over disciplinary problems, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said, without providing specifics.
The young man has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, the sheriff’s office said.