New photos show that the Parkland, Florida school shooting last month could have been a lot worse if the shooter had succeeded in breaking the third floor windows, where he was reportedly attempting to fire down on people fleeing the scene.
The pictures, published by Fox News, show a number of cracks in the glass where confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz reportedly tried to break the windows in the third floor teacher's lounge. The room would have given him a clear shot at students and teachers fleeing from several of the buildings on campus.
However, the glass in those windows was made to withstand hurricane force winds, meaning that even Cruz's AR-15 assault rifle couldn't break through. Law enforcement officials suspect that Cruz hoped to take up a position like a sniper and pick off more victims from above.
“What you are looking at is the third-floor teachers lounge, which faces west, Cruz was trying to shoot those windows out from the inside, creating a perch so he could act like a sniper — little did he know, those windows are hurricane windows and they won’t shatter. Had he been able to get those shot out, who knows how many more people would’ve died, because he would’ve had sight to a wide-open courtyard where the other buildings funnel,” the source said.
One law enforcement insider said that the bullets appear to have been fired from the inside, confirming that Cruz tried to break the windows himself. Two others told the outlet about their theory that Cruz was looking for a higher vantage point.
The outlet also obtained a picture of many boxes of evidence, some of which are covered with biohazard labels.
”By the looks of it, the ones with orange biohazard are anything from that day in the school that has blood or bodily matter on them; the rest is probably anything that was left behind that was unclaimed or evidence from the school shooting,” said a law enforcement source who reviewed the pictures.
The school remained closed for more than a week after the shooting. While classes have resumed, the building where the massacre took place has yet to open. The Parkland Public Schools said it may be torn down permanently, if state lawmakers agree to replace it. The we building would cost an estimated $28.5 million.
Cruz remains in custody without bail. He faces 17 charges of premeditated murder, and could be handed the death sentence in the state of Florida. Meanwhile, his former classmates continue their crusade for gun reform, with the March for our Lives event fast approaching on Sunday, March 24.