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    US Court Indicts School Shooting Suspect on 17 Counts of Premeditated Murder

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – A US court has indicted the suspect in last month's school shooting in the US state of Florida on 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder, State Prosecutor Michael Satz said in a press release on Wednesday.

    “On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, the Broward County Grand Jury, January through June 2018 term, indicted Nikolas Jacob Cruz, charging him with 17-counts of Premeditated Murder in the First-Degree and 17-counts of Attempted Murder in the First-Degree,” Satz said.

    The indictment alleges Cruz killed and murdered 17 individuals in the shooting and attempted to murder another 17 individuals who are named in the release.

    On February 14, 19-year-old Cruz used an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle to kill 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

    US President Donald Trump has convened with lawmakers since the shooting to request a bipartisan bill that would reform gun laws and address mental health issues.

    The gunman, Nikolas Cruz, was repeatedly reported to the authorities as being unstable and threatening. In addition, he purchased his assault rifle legally about a year prior to the shooting.

    Meanwhile, lawmakers in the US state of Florida have passed a gun reform package that includes raising the age limit for purchasing an assault weapon to 21.

    The Florida House of Representatives passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act with a 67-50 vote on Wednesday. The measure, originally passed by the Florida state Senate earlier this week, will now go to Governor Rick Scott’s desk to be signed.

    The bill also creates a program to arm volunteer teachers and staff in addition to giving law enforcement more authority to confiscate weapons, bans bump stocks, and implements a three-day waiting period for gun purchases.


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