Social media sites Facebook and Instagram issued a statement Thursday saying they had deleted the profile of accused Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz.
The 19-year-old gunman, who was charged Thursday with 17 counts of premeditated murder, had posted photos and at least one video that law enforcement officials called “very, very disturbing.”
Cruz is charged with planning the attack on the school in Parkland, Florida. According to authorities, around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Cruz began shooting people outside of the school before putting on a gas mask, setting off smoke grenades, pulling a fire alarm and entering the school, firing an AR-15 rifle.
Cruz left the school after the shooting but was captured about an hour later.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel talked with reporters late Wednesday about what Cruz had posted online.
“We already began to dissect his websites and the things on social media that he was on and some of the things … are very, very disturbing,” he said.
According to some media outlets who were sent images from Cruz’s Instagram page, the account had photos of a young man posing with guns and knives, his head covered with a balaclava – a knit mask that covers most of the head and face.
Cruz’s face was covered in most of the photos. The captions on some photos indicated he was feuding with others. One post about buying a gun read: “I plan on getting this but I need more information on it so if someone could give advice on how much I’m spending and background cheeks [sic] please to god let me know.”
Another post showed a target that had been shot up. The caption read, “Group
Still another post offered a photo of the definition of the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar” that included a Muslim slur. Allahu Akbar is Arabic for “God is great.”
Cruz also had a Facebook page that was taken down.
On Thursday, FBI officials said they had received a warning in September about a YouTube user named Nikolas Cruz who had commented on another person’s account
saying that he was “going to be a professional school shooter.”
FBI officials said they did not have enough information to track down Cruz, even though they had his correct name on the comment.
Nikolas Cruz. (Photo via Broward County Jail)
Broward County Jail