As the facts rolled in following Wednesday's fatal school shooting in Parkland, Florida, an incorrect statistic emerged — that there have been 18 school shootings so far in 2018 in the U.S.
The statistic originated from the group Everytown for Gun Safety, which supports gun control and gun safety across the country. The site has kept a running total of school shootings in the country since 2013, and their current count as of this year is at 18.
But there's a problem with that statistic. Upon closer inspection, only five of the 18 shootings took place during school hours and resulted in injury or death. Three others were intentional shootings, but nobody was harmed; two involved guns owned by police officer's being unintentionally fired with with no injuries; another seven took place outside of school hours and one was a suicide attempt.
But that is not to take away from the severity of the five school shootings that did result in injury or death. On Wednesday, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School just 10 minutes before dismissal, killing 14 students and three teachers.
Cruz managed to escape in the crowd of panicked students, but was arrested within hours of the attack. He was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder on Thursday, and a police report revealed he confessed to all.
Public defender Melissa McNeill described her client as a "broken human being" during the initial hearing.
"He's sad," McNeill said. "He's mournful. He's remorseful. He is fully aware of what is going on, and he's just a broken human being."
Cruz claims he heard "demonic voices" tell him to commit the shooting.
Barbara Kumbatovich, Cruz's aunt, said in an interview on Friday that the loss of his adoptive mother Lynda, who passed in November after a case of the flu turned into pneumonia, was his mental breaking point.
"Lynda was very close to them," Kumbatovic told the the Washington Post. "She put a lot of time and effort into those boys, trying to give them a good life and upbringing."