When a "deeply disturbed" person decides to open fire in a school or other mass shooting situation, it shows tragedy can happen anywhere, Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday in the wake of a deadly school shooting that left 17 dead in Parkland, Florida Wednesday afternoon.
"When one individual decides in a premeditated and orchestrated way that they are going to carry something like this out, it can happen anywhere," the Florida Republican told Fox News' "Fox and Friends." He noted that Parkland, before Wednesday, was known as an exceedingly safe community.
"You are not going to get likely to get mugged there or carjacked there," he said. "Your home is not likely to get broken into there. It's a very safe community. This is an isolated instance but a very tragic and catastrophic one where you have one individual with a perfect storm of circumstances and then goes into a school and kills 17 people and injuries many more."
The accused shooter, Nikolas Cruz, 19, is a "deeply disturbed person," said Rubio. "You look at the social media accounts; you look at some of the other things that law enforcement has not yet made public. This was someone who kind of had a, you know, a bunch of events come together. His father died a few years ago. His adoptive mother died late last year. He was living with another family."
Cruz is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder for the deaths at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where the massacre unfolded Wednesday afternoon. He was someone that people knew was a danger, said Rubio.
He pointed out that there was a "running joke" at the school that Cruz, who had been expelled, would return one day and "hurt a lot of people."
"All these things happen and, yet, somehow this individual escaped detection and able to acquire this weapon and able to go in and kill 17 people and injure more," said Rubio. "One person in the wrong circumstances and you get in this situation."
Cruz had been threatening people at the school, as well as putting troubling messages out on his social media accounts, said Rubio, and "when you put the full picture together, you start to say this is a person who could be a very serious problem... that's the problem here. We look at these things in an isolated way but not in their totality."
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