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President Donald Trump says it appears the suspect in Florida’s deadly school shooting was “mentally disturbed.”
Trump tweeted Thursday about the shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school. A former student opened fire Wednesday with an AR-15 rifle, killing 17 people. The 19-year-old was charged Thursday morning.
Trump says: “So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”
The president offered sympathy in a tweet Wednesday and said he spoke with Florida’s governor, but he has not addressed the nation.
Trump has cited mental health before as a cause for mass shootings, dismissing questions about gun control.
The 19-year-old suspect, Nikolas Cruz, is a troubled teenager who posted disturbing material on social media. He had been expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for “disciplinary reasons,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.
Broward County, Florida, Mayor Beam Furr said on CNN that the shooter was getting treatment at a mental health clinic for a while, but that he hadn’t been back to the clinic for more than a year.