Large Mexican family mourns school shooting victim

Martin Duque Anguiano, who was a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School freshman, died Wednesday in a school massacre. He was 14.

Martin was the son of Mexican immigrants who worked in the agricultural industry near the edge of Parkland. He was one of five siblings. 

His older brother, Miguel Duque, used to play for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s soccer team when he was a student there. 

“He was a very funny kid, outgoing and sometimes really quiet,” his brother wrote on a GoFundMe account. “He was sweet and caring and loved by all of his family.”

The Mexican Consulate in Miami released a statement saying they were in touch with Martin’s relatives. Martin has family in Florida and in the Mexican town of Santa Teresa, about 3 hours away from Mexico City, in Guerrero, a state on the Pacific coast. 

 

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Group chat reveals school shooter obsessed with race, violence and guns

In a private Instagram group chat, confessed school shooter Nikolas Cruz repeatedly espoused racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic views and displayed an obsession with violence and guns.

Wednesday, 19-year-old Cruz opened fire at the school that expelled him, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Authorities say he killed 17 with his legally purchased AR-15.

CNN, investigating comments the shooter may have left on a now-deleted YouTube channel, was added to the private Instagram group by one of the active members in it. The responding group members, who appear to be younger than 18, have refused to confirm their identities to CNN on or off the record.

When asked for comment or whether they knew about the private chat group, the FBI directed CNN to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

Most of the conversation in the group since Cruz joined around August 2017 is between six people — including Cruz.

“I hate jews, ni**ers, immigrants”

Racism was a constant theme in the chat group, which was called “Murica (American flag emoji) (eagle emoji) great” — a name it was given by Cruz.

The hatred he and others in the group espoused met little resistance from its active members. In one part of the group chat, Cruz wrote that he hated, “jews, ni**ers, immigrants.”

He talked about killing Mexicans, keeping black people in chains and cutting their necks. The statements were not made in jest.

There are hundreds of racist messages, racist memes and racist Instagram videos posted in the group.

One member even joked about Cruz’s particular venomousness, saying that although he hated black people, too, he didn’t “to a point I wanna kill the (sic) like nick.”

Cruz said he hated black people simply because they were black; Cruz hated Jews because he believed they wanted to destroy the world.

After one member expressed hatred for gay people, Cruz agreed, saying, “Shoot them in the back of head.”

White women drew Cruz’s hatred as well, specifically those in interracial relationships, whom he referred to repeatedly as traitors.

There are no indications in the group chat that any member, including Cruz, is or was part of a white nationalist or white supremacist group.

Cruz used paycheck for body armor

Cruz purchased an AR-15 rifle in Florida approximately a year ago, legally. A law enforcement source told CNN’s Evan Perez that Cruz purchased at least five guns in the past year.

In a public post on his Instagram page, Cruz showed what he called an “arsenal” on a bed — seven guns and body armor. Another post on the page is a view down the barrel of a gun with a holographic sight out a window onto the street.

His AR-15 and other guns were a frequent topic of conversation in the group chat.

They even critiqued Cruz’s rifle grip. He posted a short video of himself shooting a rifle outside a window at night. The video cuts out shortly after the round is fired.

They discussed which guns they liked better: M16s or AKs.

At one point, one member told Cruz, “Nick get this for your AR.” He directed Nick to a website offering an after-market accessory that would turn his AR-15 into a fully automatic weapon.

A law enforcement source speaking to CNN’s Evan Perez said that the gun used in the school shooting was not automatic, and there’s no indication he bought the accessory, or a similar type of accessory.

When it was payday, Cruz let the group know where the money was going to be spent.

“Guys I got paid 330. I am buying body armor,” he wrote.

Cruz did purchase the body armor, according to receipts he posted in the chat — with a $30 discount and free shipping.

Then he asked the group whether it was legal to wear body armor to school.

“School shooters,” he replied, when someone asked why he wanted to know.

“I think I am going to kill people”

The bio on one of his Instagram accounts read, “annihilator.”

At one point in the chat, he wrote, “I think I am going to kill people.” After a member told him not to say things like that, he said he was just playing.

During one of the anti-Semitic rants in the chat, Cruz spoke of his birth mother, saying, “My real mom was a Jew. I am glad I never met her.”

Roger and Lynda Cruz adopted Cruz when he was a child. Roger died in 2004, and Lynda died last fall after an illness.

In his first message to the chat group, Cruz bragged about writing a letter to President Donald Trump — and receiving a response. CNN reached out to the White House for comment about any correspondence to and from Cruz but has not heard back.

Jim Gard, his former math teacher, told CNN’s Brian Todd that although he never had problems with Cruz, he did receive an email from a school administrator around November 2016 asking to be notified if Cruz came on campus with a backpack.

In two instances, Cruz also discussed killing small animals.

He posted a photo on his Instagram account of a disemboweled frog, saying he had killed it because one had killed his dog. In the Instagram chat, he describes killing a number of birds with his gun.

Some members of the chat were worried he might have killed endangered animals.

“He seemed nice but also had some mental issues,” one member told CNN. “All (I know) is that he likes guns and really hates liberals.”

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School shooting victim loved playing trombone, baritone

Alexander Schachter, who was a member of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School marching band and orchestra, died in the massacre in Parkland Wednesday. He was 14. 

The freshman played the trombone in the orchestra and the baritone in the Eagle Regiment band, one of the top marching bands in Florida. 

“He was a sweetheart of a kid,” Max Schachter, his father, wrote on a GoFundMe account to set up a music scholarship in his honor and contribute to his school’s Marching Eagles.  

Alexander moved to Parkland when he was four years old. He was a regular at Temple Beth Am in Margate. His brother, who is also a student at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, survived the shooting. 

The accused shooter, Nikolas Cruz, killed 16 others with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle that he had purchased Feb. 11, 2017. 

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School shooting victim dreamed of going to West Point

Peter Wang, a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps who had dreams of going to the United States Military Academy, died in a school massacre Wednesday. He was 15.  

He was of Chinese descent and was born in Brooklyn, New York. His family moved to Miami-Dade County when he was a little boy. His family was planning a Chinese New Year feast for Thursday.

The freshman was proud of his training with the JROTC program and talked about his desire to go to West Point after graduating from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. A gunman, authorities identified as Nikolas Cruz, ended that dream with a rifle. 

When Wang’s parents were searching for him after the shooting, they learned some students last saw him holding the door to help others to escape the rampage. Authorities arrested Cruz and reported 16 other victims died of gunshot wounds. 

Wang’s parents and two younger brothers survive him. 

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Grieving mother: ‘President Trump, please do something!’

“President Trump, please do something! Do something. Action! We need it now! These kids need safety now!”

With tears rolling down her face, Lori Alhadeff screamed into a microphone, glared into a camera, and begged the president to address the nation’s deadly gun epidemic.

Alhadeff’s 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa, was one of 17 people killed during Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Alhadeff’s grief was coupled with anger and a demand for answers.

“How do we allow a gunman to come into our children’s school? How do they get through security? What security is there?” she yelled. “The gunman — a crazy person — just walks right into the school, knocks down the window of my child’s door and starts shooting. Shooting her! And killing her!”

The mother’s pained words came during an interview with HLN’s Mike Galanos. In the segment, Alhadeff personalized a nightmare: burying a child.

“I just spent the last two hours putting [together] the burial arrangements for my daughter’s funeral, who’s 14!”

The debate over gun control in America has been polarizing and politicized. As it has gone on, with little resolution, school shootings have continued. Alhadeff challenged Trump to put a stop to the terror and heartbreak.

“President Trump, you say what can you do? You can stop the guns from getting into these children’s hands,” she said. “What can you do? You can do a lot! This is not fair to our families and our children [to] go to school and have to get killed!”

Alhadeff’s pleas left CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin struggling to speak.

“I’m sorry, it’s just,” started the anchor, before pausing to try to collect herself. Baldwin was hosting her “CNN Newsroom” program from on the ground in Florida and had just watched Alhadeff along with her audience. Joined by Democratic US Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, Baldwin fought back tears and asked her guest for assistance.

“Congressman, help me out,” she said. “Just hearing that mother, I’m sorry, it got me.”

Deutch agreed.

“What that grieving mother said is the most powerful message that everyone needs to hear,” he said. “We need action. We have to do something.”

Wednesday’s shooting is at least the fourth at US middle and high schools this year.

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School shooter bought rifle from Sunrise Tactical Supply last year

Nikolas Cruz walked into the Sunrise Tactical Supply last year to buy the rifle used to kill as many people as he could at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday, according to authorities.

The store owners, Michael and Lisa Morrison, closed the store, as they feared for their lives. Attorney Douglas Rudman, of the Boca Raton-based Rudman Law Group, was representing them.

Cruz “was not put into any sort of database, and someone who was essentially allowed to go unchecked before walking into this store and purchasing a firearm,” Rudman said.  

Cruz didn’t buy any ammunition when he bought the rifle Feb. 11, 2017. The rifle came with a magazine. Rudman said Cruz didn’t raise any red flags. 

“It seems like Mr. Cruz made a deliberate attempt to not draw suspicion by not buying too many things from one place,” Rudman said. 

Rudman said the Morrisons were distraught about “the tremendous sense of responsibility in this situation and just horribleness that they feel that one of their weapon fell into the hands of this maniac.” 

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