Cell phone videos taken by Nikolas Cruz before the Parkland shooting show that he was planning the attack in detail and looking forward to people seeing him on the news. The Sun-Sentinel reports:
In three chilling cellphone video clips, at least one of which appears to have been recorded on the day of the Feb. 14 shooting, Cruz, 19, calmly outlines his plans.
“When you see me on the news you’ll know who I am,” he says, chuckling. “You’re all going to die. Pew pew pew pew pew. Ah yeah. Can’t wait.”…
“My name is Nik, and I’m going to be the next school shooter of 2018,” he said. “My goal is at least 20 people.”…
“Today is the day. The day that it all begins. The day of my massacre shall begin,” Cruz says. “All the kids in school will run in fear and hide. From the wrath of my power they will know who I am.”…
Cruz offered only vague hints about his motive.
“I’ve had enough being told what to do and when to do. … Telling me I’m an idiot and a dumbass,” he says. “In real life, you’re all the dumbass. You’re all stupid and brainwashed.”
It seems to me the author of this piece is skipping over one obvious motive which Cruz mentioned repeatedly in these brief videos. First, everyone in school would know who he was. Second, everyone would see him on the news and know who he was. Third, in the last video below he says, “With the power of my AR, you will all know who I am.” He goes on to say, “You will all see. You will all know who my name is.”
Cruz seems pretty confident he’s about to become famous, so maybe we shouldn’t overlook that as part of his motive. As I suggested here, there’s a good argument to be made that school shooters, especially since Columbine, are inspired by the idea of becoming notorious killers. The media repeating their names and showing their faces on television, essentially making them instantly famous, inspires more troubled kids with few real prospects to aim for similar fame.
Watch this clip and notice that when he says “When you see me on the news you’ll know who I am,” is the only time he smiles. I’m contributing in a small way to that process but I think the larger issue is the network news and cable shows. I’m not looking for a any kind of law but maybe ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and Fox should consider not playing clips like this or referring to these shooters by name. If notoriety, even in death is their goal, maybe denying them that will result in fewer school shooters.