#KHOU11 After shifting over from #ASTROS Camp to coverage of school shooting in Parkland, Forida, I talked with Alexa Miednik , a Senior at Douglas HS. She never saw a gun but she says she knows the alleged shooter... pic.twitter.com/qzaOUbFMPu— Matt Musil (@KHOUSportsMatt) February 15, 2018
Senior Alexa Miednik told KHOU-TV's Matt Musil that she spoke to Cruz during the evacuation following the shooting, and for that reason she believes there was another shooter present.
"In the moment I wasn't [scared] because there was obviously definitely another shooter involved," Miednik said.
"You think he was not the only one?" Musil asked.
"No, definitely not...Because when shots were fired, I saw him after the fact. And the shots were coming from the other part of the building. So there definitely had to be two shooters involved, I believe."
The Broward County Sheriff's Office told PopCulture.com it cannot confirm a second shooter "at this time."
Miednik said she "kind of joked" about the situation with Cruz while she was walking with him.
"As we were walking, the whole class together, I actually was speaking to the suspect, Nikolas Cruz. And as I was speaking to him, he seemed very...he was troubled in middle school, so I kind of joked to him and said 'I'm surprised you weren't the one who did it,' and he just gave me a 'Huh?'"
Musil, a Houston reporter who traveled to Florida while covering the Astros spring training, wrote that Miednik did not see a gun with Cruz, nor did she see any wounded classmates.
Miednik's claims come after reports that Cruz was able to flee the scene Wednesday by blending in with evacuating students.
Cruz was arrested a short distance from the school near a home Wednesday afternoon. Students reportedly recognized him during the assault.
Cruz was booked into Broward County Jail Thursday morning on charges of premeditated murder and is being held without bond.
Students say that the 19-year-old allegedly harassed his peers, bragged about guns and talked about killing animals. In addition, his peers have also described him as a "loner." He had been expelled from the school last year for fighting and other "disciplinary reasons."
"There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus," Jim Gard, a math teacher at the school, said, adding that Cruz may have been identified as a potential threat and that school officials had sent an email to staff regarding the 19-year-old.0comments
"I think everyone had in their minds if anybody was going to do it, it was going to be him," student Dakota Mutchler, 17, told the Boston Globe, describing disturbing pictures that Cruz had posted to Instagram in which he talked about killing animals and doing target practice in his backyard.
Cruz returned to his former high school on Wednesday, Feb. 14, armed with an AR-15 rifle, several magazines, a gas mask, and smoke grenades. After pulling the fire alarm, he opened fire as students began spilling into the hallways, killing 17 students and adults, including athletic director Chris Hixon and football coach and security guard Aaron Feis.