Florida shooting: Prosecutors seek death penalty for Nikolas Cruz

US prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the teenager accused of killing 17 people in last month’s high school shooting in Florida

US prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the teenager accused of killing 17 people in last month’s shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school.

Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz announced his decision in a court filing on Tuesday.

The decision comes nearly a week after a grand jury indicted Nikolas Cruz,19, on 17 counts of first-degree premeditated murder and 17 counts of first-degree attempted murder for the February 14 shooting.

Cruz has admitted carrying out the,

The attack, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is the deadliest US school shooting since 2012.

Satz argued that the death penalty was warranted because Cruz “knowingly created a great risk of death to many persons” and committed a crime in a “cold, calculated and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification,” and because the crime “was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel,” according to a copy of the filing.

Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, whose office is representing Cruz, had said that the teen would plead guilty if prosecutors did not pursue the death penalty.

Cruz has told police that he arrived on campus and began shooting students before abandoning his weapon and escaping, according to court documents.

"We still stand ready to immediately plead guilty to 34 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole," Howard Finkelstein, a county public defender, said.

"We are not saying he is not guilty but we can't plead guilty while death is still on the table," he added.

Before the shooting, Cruz was reportedly investigated by local police and the Department of Children and Family Services in 2016 after posting evidence of Child services said he had planned to buy a gun, but authorities determined he was already receiving adequate support, reports say.

self-harm on the Snapchat app.

The FBI has also admitted it received a tip-off about him last year.

The tip was not the only information the FBI received. In September, a Mississippi man reported to the law enforcement agency a disturbing comment left on a YouTube video under Cruz's name.

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