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'Burn, Kill, Destroy': Parkland Mass Shooter Suspect Claims 'Demon' Gave Him Directions

08-09-2018

The suspect in the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school told police hours after the shooting that for years he heard a "demon" giving him directions in his head, The Washington Post reported.

According to a transcript of the police interview with Nikolas Cruz, 19, the accused shooter also said the demon told him to "Burn. Kill. Destroy."

Police arrested Cruz for the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which took the lives of 17 people and injured 17 more.

Police said during their interview, Cruz confessed to the shootings.

In the 217-page transcript, the suspect told an investigator that before what happened at Parkland, he had planned to shoot people at a park. He also talked about having a run-in with police because he was "shooting animals".

In addition, the transcript shows that Cruz told police he attempted to take his own life before the Parkland shootings because of "loneliness" and he took Xanax and used marijuana, The Post reported.

During the police interview, the transcript also shows Cruz requested that he wanted to talk to a psychologist.

Cruz told police he heard the demon, a male voice, every day, telling him it wanted him "to hurt people", according to the transcript. The suspect also said the situation became more intense after his mother died a few months before the Parkland shootings.

The transcript goes on to say the investigator confronts Cruz, saying he doesn't believe what Cruz said about the demon.

"Personally, I think you're using the demon as an excuse," the detective said, the transcript showed. "You could have stopped the demon any time you want. You didn't want to stop the demon."

The Post goes on to report that Cruz argues with the investigator and stands by what he said.

The detective eventually leaves the room, and the suspected shooter, who is more than likely alone at this point, said, "I want to die," according to the transcript.

Cruz's attorneys admit their client's guilt; their strategy now is to argue that he should not be sentenced to death, and they've offered to have Cruz plead guilty for a life in prison sentence without parole, The Post reported.

Prosecutors maintain they will go after the death penalty.

Meanwhile, this week, the Broward County School Board requested that a judge hold the South Florida Sun Sentinel and two of the newspaper's reporters in contempt of court. The move follows a report about Cruz's experience in the school system, the Sun Sentinel reported.

The school board accuses the newspaper of purposely publishing details that it knew a judge wanted to be redacted.

The judge handed down an order, and the school district then made public the report last Friday. To guard the privacy of Cruz, almost two-thirds of it was blacked out, according to the Sun Sentinel.

However, the district's attempt to black out certain details didn't work because all the text became readable when it was copied and pasted into a Word document.

"They opted to report, publicly, information that this court had ordered to be redacted despite agreeing, on the record, that this information was protected by both Florida and federal law," the circuit court plea said.

The newpaper's editor-in-chief said the events related to the massacre are of "the utmost importance to our community," and the paper was obligated to publicly release that information, the Sun Sentinel reported.

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