Politics

Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty for Fla. shooting suspect

Students held their hands in the air as they were evacuated amid a school shooting.
Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP
Students held their hands in the air as they were evacuated amid a school shooting.

MIAMI (AP) — Florida prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz in the fatal shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The office of Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz filed the formal notice Tuesday. The 19-year-old Cruz is scheduled for formal arraignment Wednesday on a 34-count indictment, including 17 first-degree murder charges.

Cruz’s attorneys have said he would plead guilty if the death penalty was not pursued in the Valentine’s Day massacre. The action by prosecutors Tuesday does not necessarily mean a plea deal will not be reached.

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The only other penalty option for Cruz is life in prison with no possibility of parole.