Nikolas Cruz vomited, hyperventilated after his arrest, report says

Officer who found Cruz says gunman's mood changed when confronted with witness

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor, Ian Margol - Reporter

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - Nikolas Cruz vomited and hyperventilated in the minutes after he was arrested for killing 17 people in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, according to a newly released police report.

Multiple law enforcement agencies from the surrounding area responded to the shooting on Feb. 14 in Parkland including the Broward County Sheriff's Office, the Coconut Creek Police Department and the Coral Springs Police Department.

After reporting to the school, Coconut Creek police Officer Michael Leonard said he was redirected to a nearby McDonald's because authorities believed Cruz was in that area.

Broward County sheriff's deputies have said Cruz left the school by dropping his weapon and blending in with students as they fled the building. After the shooting, Cruz walked to a McDonald's and a Subway restaurant a few blocks from the school in Coral Springs.

Leonard said he began searching the streets around the McDonald's and eventually found a man matching Cruz's description walking along 47000 block of Wyndham Lakes Boulevard. 

The report said Cruz, 19, was wearing a burgundy shirt, black jeans, military style boots, dark-colored ball cap and black-framed eyeglasses.

Leonard said he approached Cruz with his weapon drawn, and ordered Cruz to put his hands up and get on the ground. Cruz complied and gave his name when asked, the report said.

Leonard said he called for backup and kept his gun trained on Cruz. Soon after, Coral Springs police Sgt. Camille Dumornay arrived and put Cruz in handcuffs. Cruz was searched, but the officers did not find any weapons, the report said. 

Leonard described Cruz as quiet and calm in the minutes after his arrest, but after about 15 minutes, Cruz became agitated. When a witness arrived to identify him as the gunman, Cruz vomited clear fluid and began hyperventilating, the report said. Police said they called Broward Fire Rescue as a precaution after Cruz started breathing heavily.

Cruz was taken to Broward Health North in Pompano Beach, but he was eventually released to police custody later that night.

Cruz, who is facing 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder, could face the death penalty if convicted. 

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