The Parkland school gunman watched YouTube videos about other school shootings and searched Google for information about AR-15s and police responses to school shootings in the days leading up to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, a detective testified Monday at his sentencing trial.
Broward Sheriff's Office Det. Ronald Faircloth outlined what was found on Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's phone that was recovered after the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting that left 17 people dead and 17 others injured.
Faircloth, who performs digital forensics, said the phone had a PDF showing the bell schedule including dismissal times at MSD that had been created less than two weeks before the shooting.
The phone's internet search history also showed the gunman's disturbing searches in the days leading up to the shooting.
The gunman searched "school shooters," "AR-15," "MSD," and "how long does it take for a cop to show up at a school shooting" in the week before the shooting, Faircloth testified.
He also researched multiple school mass shootings and watched YouTube videos about them, including the shootings at Columbine and Virginia Tech, Faircloth said.
Other YouTube video searches included "AR-15 close quarter combat," "AR-15 basic gunfighting skills," and "body cam footage of cop shooting armed student on campus."
Faircloth also revealed two text message conversations the gunman had the day of the shooting.
One of the text exchanges was with a person the gunman referred to as "Warning: Love of Your Life" who texted him "You're scaring me, leave me alone," Faircloth said.
"I love you," the gunman texted her, adding "You will always know I love you."
"You know I have a boyfriend, right?" she texted back.
"No I don't," he replied. "It doesn't matter anymore, I love you."
Later, prosecutors played three videos that were found on the phone in which the gunman outlined his plans for the shooting.
"All right, here’s the plan. I’m gonna go take a Uber in the afternoon before 2:40. From there I’m gonna go onto the school campus, walk up the stairs, go into my bags and get my AR and shoot people down in the main courtyard, and wait, and people will die," the gunman said in the first video.
"Today’s the day, the day that it all begins," he said in the second video. "All the kids will be in fear and hide."
The third video had been previously released and shows the gunman speaking into the camera.
"Hello, my name is Nick, and I’m gonna be the next school shooter of 2018," he said in the video. "My goal is at least 20 people with an AR-15 and couple tracer rounds. Location is Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida. It's gonna be a big event."
The shooter can also be heard laughing in part of the video.
"When you see me on the news you'll all know who I am. You're all going to die," he said. "Can't wait."
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