An uber ride, then a massacre, washed down by a soda, a stroll, and a stop at McDonald’s?
A timeline of events detailed by Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Thursday afternoon clarified the chronology of Nikolas Cruz’s deadly rampage Wednesday through Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where he killed 17, and the other events before his capture. But it also prompted more questions. Namely, why did he do it, and why didn’t he try to run?
The following is the timeline of bizarre events that unfolded in the one hour and 22 minutes that lapsed between when Cruz entered school property and when he was captured by an officer on Wyndham Lakes Drive near Coconut Creek. The total distance between the school and the point of capture was about two miles on foot.
2:19 p.m.: An Uber drops Cruz off at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (Police said the driver had nothing to do with the crime.) Sporting a black hat, he then walked to building 12, carrying his AR-15 rifle in a soft black case. According to the arrest report, one staffer radioed a co-worker to alert authorities that Cruz was “walking purposefully” toward the school.
Between 2:21 - 2:33 p.m.: Cruz goes on a killing spree in building 12 of the high school, reaching every floor.
Cruz entered the building (said to house mostly freshman classrooms) by the east stairs. He then fired into three classrooms — first 1215 and 1216, then 1212. He then backtracked toward the original rooms, still shooting. Next, Cruz moved toward the second floor, taking the west stairs, where he resumed firing. He then continued to the third floor via the east stairs, where he dropped his bag and his weapon, running back down. According to the arrest record, Cruz was attempting to disappear among the fleeing students.
One Stoneman Douglas student who had attempted to flee rather than go on “lockdown” said he saw Cruz among the students as they ran out. “I was just trying to go home,” said the student, who twisted his ankle during the chaos.
Cruz dropped his backpack near the tennis court before he left the school premises.
After 2:33 p.m.: Cruz buys a drink at a local Subway.
After leaving the school grounds, Cruz didn’t keep running. Instead, he had a drink at a Walmart Subway, located just down the road from the school. It was not a low-profile location for hiding out, and would likely have been one of the first establishments he came across as he moved west out of the school.
After his beverage, Cruz headed south, probably walking on or near Coral Ridge Drive.
3:01 p.m.: Cruz goes to McDonald’s.
Cruz went to McDonald’s, likely the one still within a mile’s walk from the school, where half an hour earlier he had killed more than a dozen students. Police did not say if he ordered anything at McDonald’s or when he left to move a mile southwest before being captured.
3:41 p.m.: Cruz is captured.
Officer Michael Leonard captured Cruz just outside a townhouse development on the 4700 block of Wyndham Lakes Drive. Some local news stations reported he acted oddly, muttering to himself during the arrest. He was taken to Broward Health North, where he was treated along with eight victims. He is now in the Broward County Jail, where he is on suicide watch.