The Instagram account of the suspected gunman in yesterday's Florida high school shooting which left 17 people dead and up to 50 more injured has revealed his fixation with guns and violence.
In his posts on the social media platform, Nicolas de Jesus Cruz, 19, shared several disturbing photos of himself showing off weaponry including hunting knives and pistols, along with other worrying images and captions.
Former classmates of Cruz have come forward to say that they'd always feared he was capable of an act like yesterday's shooting, calling him 'crazy' and alleging he had previously killed animals.
"He was crazy because he liked to kill small things, like little animals - frogs and other animals like that and he just had a crazy mind. He was racist and he was just crazy," one student told 10ABC News.
Cruz, a member of the US Army Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC), returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, opening fire just after 2pm when students were being dismissed from class, authorities have claimed.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed that 17 people were killed in the attack on the school with many others injured.
According to Cruz's former school peers, Cruz was a troubled classmate who had few friends and was expelled from middle school in the eighth grade for repeatedly setting off the fire alarm.
Stoneman Douglas senior Chad Williams, 18, said that he'd seen Cruz carrying several magazines about guns when they last bumped into each other at the high school.
"He was crazy about guns," Williams told Reuters. "He was kind of an outcast. He didn't have many friends. He would do anything crazy for a laugh, but he was trouble."
Nineteen-year-old Jillian Davis, a former colleague of Cruz's in the JROTC, remembered him as a quiet, shy man prone to wild personality swings and talking about guns and knives.
"I would say he was not the most normal or sane kid in JROTC," Davis told Reuters. "He definitely had a little something off about him. He was a little extra quirky."
Other students said they knew it would be Cruz as soon as they heard about a shooting at the school, while one teacher said Cruz had been banned from the campus.
Matthew Walker, a 17-year-old student at the school told WFOR-TV: "A lot of kids threw jokes around saying that he was going to be the one to shoot up the school. It turns out that everyone predicted it. That's crazy."
"He was going class to class just shooting at random kids. Everything he posts (on social media) is about weapons. It's sick."
Math teacher Jim Gard, who taught Cruz last year, told the Miami Herald that teachers were advised that Cruz was not allowed on campus while carrying a backpack, after problems of him threatening students.
The teen had been expelled from the school for 'disciplinary reasons' which are not yet publicly known.
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Nikolas Cruz