Authorities release timeline of shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

PARKLAND, FLA. (WSVN) - Authorities have released a timeline of the events that transpired between the Stoneman Douglas attack and the moment the suspected gunman was captured.

Nikolas Cruz was nowhere to be found for more than a half hour after the killing spree, Wednesday afternoon.

“The suspect crossed fields and ran west along with others who were fleeing,” said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel. “He tried to mix in with the group that were running away, fearing for their lives.”

The suspect then went into the Walmart on Coral Ridge Drive not to hide out but to pick up a drink at the restaurant within the store. “He bought a drink at the Subway and then left the Walmart on foot,” Israel said.

Cruz took off yet again and ran to a nearby McDonald’s, where he took a break from all the running. “Sat down for a short period of time,” said Israel. “This was at 3:01 p.m., and he left on foot.”

Forty minutes after his McDonald’s stop, he was spotted walking along the street and taken down.

“The suspect was detained at 4700 Wyndham Lakes Drive in Coral Springs by an officer from the Coconut Creek Police Department,” Israel said.

Officer Michael Leonard said at first, he wasn’t entirely sure the young man he spotted was the shooter. However, his instinct and training told him that’s exactly who it was and the FBI said he was right.

The fear of a desperate mass murderer being on the run in Broward was over before 4 p.m., Wednesday.

Cruz was taken to the hospital to be checked out briefly before being booked into jail and facing a judge Thursday. He is now being held without bond.

Copyright 2020 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.