Nikolas Cruz - Updated May 2024

Updated On February 12, 2024
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Nikolas Cruz

Nikolas Cruz is a school shooter from the United States. Nikolas Cruz committed a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on the 14th of February 2018. Meanwhile, he was a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Early Life

On the 24th of September 1998, Nikolas Cruz was born in Parkland, Florida, in the United States of America. His birth name is Nikolas Jacob “Nick” Cruz and is currently 25 years old as of 2023. Cruz holds American nationality and belongs to the American-White ethnicity. Similarly, he has his religious belief in Christianity religion and has a birth sign of Libra.

Following his family background, he was born to his mother, Brenda Norma Woodward while his father’s name is yet to be disclosed by him. Moreover, his mother had a violent criminal history and has been arrested 46 times including in 1998 when she was caught buying crack cocaine while six months pregnant with Cruz.

Nikolas Cruz

Caption: Nikolas Cruz’s childhood photo with his mother (Source: Sun Sentinel)

Later, he and his siblings were adopted by his adoptive father Roger Cruz, and his adoptive mother, Lynda Cruz. In addition, he was raised with his brother Zachary Cruz, and sister, Danielle Woodard. Sadly, his father died of a heart attack when Nikolas was still a young boy. Later, his mother died of pneumonia in November 2017.


Talking about his academic career, he attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School but he was expelled from the school. The reason behind this expelled was he brought bullets in his backpack, and his friends reported that Cruz liked to talk about guns, bullets, and poaching. Moreover, several students described him as creepy, weird, and someone who did not fit in with the other students.


Nikolas Cruz opened fire on students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the Miami suburban town of Parkland, Florida on the afternoon of February 14, 2018. As a result, murdered 17 people and injured 17 others.

According to an officer, Cruz was carrying a rifle case and a backpack. Cruz was armed with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle and multiple magazines, he entered a hallway and began firing indiscriminately at students and teachers.

At first, he killed three students in the hallway and fired through the windows of four closed classroom doors, killing six more students and wounding thirteen others. Later, he shot and killed five students and another staff member, who had all been stranded in the hallway; four other students were injured on the third floor.

He stopped shooting, probably because his rifle jammed and Cruz dropped his rifle on the third floor of the building and left the scene by blending in with fleeing students.

Police arrested the suspected

Nikolas Cruz

Caption: Nikolas Cruz arrested by the police (Source: NBC News)

Cruz was arrested as the suspected shooter about 2 miles (3.2 km) from the school in the Wyndham Lakes neighborhood of Coral Springs around 3:40 p.m. The shooting lasted approximately six minutes, and all of the victims were shot in less than four minutes. Cruz was identified as the shooter by school surveillance camera footage and by eyewitnesses.

The court sentenced Cruz to life in prison with no chance of parole

Cruz pleaded guilty to all charges and apologized for his actions on October 20, 2021. The prosecution wanted the death penalty, and a four-month trial was scheduled to begin in January 2022. The sentencing phase was repeatedly postponed, owing in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nikolas Cruz

Caption: Nikolas Cruz appearing the court (Source: Tampa Bay Times)

His death penalty trial began on July 18, 2022, and ended on October 13, 2022, with the jury recommending Cruz be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. Officially, on the 2nd of November 2022, Cruz was sentenced to 34 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, one each for the total number of victims murdered and wounded by Cruz.

Relationships Status

Talking about his relationship status, Nikolas Cruz was dating a girl named Emily. He could do anything for Emily. Their relationship later became abusive, and she was forced to end it. Emily moved on with her new boyfriend after they split up. Nikolas, on the other hand, threatened her new boyfriend with death. He went so far as to threaten Emily’s family. After his divorce from Emily, he has had no extramarital affairs.

Body Measurements

Cruz stands 5 feet 7 inches tall (1.70 m) and weighs around 68 kg (143 lbs). In addition, he has a pair of brown eyes with brown hair color and his body type is slim.