The Daily Moth 2-15-18

February 16, 2018


Florida High School Shooting Updates; Victims of Parkland High School Shooting; Police Arrest 18-Year-Old After Grandma Finds Plans To Shoot School in Journal; Trump Removed Law Restricting Access to Guns for People Receiving Mental Health Benefits; Transgender Woman Breast-Feeds Baby After Hospital Induces Lactation; Senate Fails To Pass Immigration Bill; Deaf Bing - VP Attention

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, February 15. Ready for news? 




Here are updates on the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting yesterday in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 and wounded 15: 


— The shooter is Nikolas Cruz, 19 years old. He is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.


— He used an AR-15 type rifle and had many magazines. It is reported he bought the gun legally at a gun shop last February. He didn’t have a criminal record and passed the background check.


— The shooting started right before the end of the school day. A fire alarm was activated, the second on that day. There was a fire drill that morning, and the second one is suspected to be activated by Cruz. He is said to throw smoke bombs then fired on disoriented people while wearing a gas mask. 


— A video posted on social media by a student showed a classroom with panicked students, police officers, and a victim lying in a pool of blood. The student films an officer carrying an injured student down a hallway, and there is one more victim lying on the floor. Backpacks are seen strewn over the floor. Terrible scene. 


— Cruz escaped the school after the shooting by blending himself in the crowd. Police knew the appearance of the person they were looking for because of surveillance video.


— A picture of him being arrested shows him wearing a ROTC shirt with the school’s mascot, an eagle. He was taken to the hospital because he had labored breathing (possibly because he ran from the school). 


— Cruz was a former student there and was expelled for fighting. A math teacher said he was identified as a threat to other students. Students said he often showed strange behavior and some joked that if there was a school shooting, he would be the one. 


— Cruz was an adopted child as a baby and his mother, Lynda, passed away in October. His father died more than 10 years ago. 


— People who knew the family said the mother would sometimes call the police to come to their home to try and talk some sense in Cruz, because he would brag about killing animals and showed troubling behavior. 


— Cruz’s aunt, who lives in New York, said Cruz had some emotional issues and thinks he was on medication. He was living with a friend’s family and took classes for his adult GED. 


— The family is now cooperating with investigators and said they had no idea Cruz would do something like this. They said they knew Cruz had a gun, but made sure he would keep it in a locked cabinet — Cruz had the key. 


— People said Cruz had an ex-girlfriend at the Stoneman school and was obsessed with her, stalking her. 


— A leader of a Florida white nationalist militia, the “Republic of Florida,” said Cruz was a member of his group and participated in several paramilitary drills. But he said what Cruz did was on his own behalf, he is responsible for what he did. 


— His social media posts show him holding knives, guns, and making slurs against Muslims. 


— He said he thought the shooting was on Valentine’s Day because of his troubles with a certain girl at the school. 


— The FBI said they got a tip in  September 2017 about a YouTube comment under the name “Nikolas Cruz" that said, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” 


The YouTuber, Ben, said he immediately notified the FBI, who sent agents to his home the next day. They asked him if he knew Cruz, he didn’t, and the FBI left after taking a screenshot. Then there was nothing after this. He said FBI contacted him again last night asking if he had more information, but he didn’t, and they left. 


A FBI agent said they did reviews, checks, but couldn’t identify the person. (But they will be questioned later on why they didn’t simply look up the YouTube name, since it was identical to his hame). 


— Sheriff Scott Israel said they are going through Cruz’s social media, saying there were very, very disturbing information. He called on lawmakers to give police and authorities more power to follow up on threatening social media postings. 


— He said there was an armed school resource officer, but he never approached Cruz during the shooting. He said he would release the exact timeline of the shooting, what happened at a later date. 


— The school Superintendent Robert Runcie said before the shooting, he was at an event to give out a “Teacher of the Year” award. Then he found out what was going on 


— He said Cruz had a disciplinary record and was transferred to another school, but couldn’t share the exact reasons why, because of privacy laws. 


— He said there needs to be action done on gun control. He said we need to do it for our generation, and if we don’t, they will. 


— He said people could help out the school by donating to the Stoneman Douglas High School fund on GoFundMe. (Over $200,000 has been raised). 


— The Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said it was a very hard process to notify family members that their loved one was gone. 


— She said the crime scene was throughly processed and that they would seek justice for the murderer. 


— President Trump gave an address from the White House this morning. 


He said we are praying for the victims and their families. He said those who died had their lives stolen from them.


— Trump said his administration would tackle the difficult issue of mental health and is making plans to visit Parkland. He did not make any mention of gun control. 

Former President Obama tweeted about the shooting. He said we are grieving, but we are not powerless — saying there needs to be common-sense gun safety laws. See it here [Tweet]. 


That tweet got over 463 thousand likes. 


More updates on the shooting tomorrow.


Cruz Photo:


Obama Tweet:




I will share the publicly released names of those who died in the Parkland shooting. 


* The school’s athletic director, Chris Hixon. 


* An assistant football coach, Aaron Feis, died. He is hailed as a hero for shielding students from the gunfire. 


* A freshman, Jaime Guttenberg. Her brother was also a student and survived. 


  • A senior, Nicholas Dworet. He was a swimmer and had a scholarship to the University of Indianapolis. 


  • Gina Montalto, a freshman. She was on the winter guard team. 


  • Alyssa Alhadeff, a freshman. She was on a soccer club. 


  • Martin Duque, a freshman. He was a soccer player. 


  • Luke Hoyer. His body was found on the third floor. 


  • Carmen Schentrup. She was a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship. 


  • Scott Beigel. He was a social studies teacher and a cross country coach. He opened his door to let his students in and was shot. 


  • Meadow Pollack, a senior. 


  • Joaquin Oliver, a senior. He was an immigrant from Venezuela and became a U.S. citizen last January. 


  • Peter Wang, a freshman. 


  • Alaina Petty, 14. 

  • Cara Loughran. 


* Alex Schachter. 


There is one more victim I have not named, couldn’t find the identity of the person. I’ll add the name in the comments when I see it. 


Terrible to see so many innocent lives taken away.




In Everett, Washington (north of Seattle), police arrested a 18-year old teen after his grandmother saw in his journal detailed plans to shoot his classmates at a high school. 


His name is Joshua O’Connor. 


The grandmother called 911 Tuesday morning and showed police the journal. The teen wrote that he wanted to make this shooting and bombing infamous with high body count.


She said the he had a semiautomatic rifle, an AK-47, in a guitar case, which she discovered after Joshua wrote about it in the journal. 


Police saw inert grenades that the Joshua wanted to fill up with black powder. They then got a warrant and arrested him at ACES High school and found a knife and marijuana on him. 


He tried to escape, slipping out of his handcuffs and kicking a police officer, but was caught and is now in jail, charged with attempted murder, and has a  $5 million bail. 


Police now thinks he used the AK-47 gun to rob a convenience store on Feb 12. He wrote about it in his journal, saying he felt powerful because he saw how scared the clerk was. 


A school district spokesperson said he is very grateful to the grandmother for deciding to report him — that it possibly saved many lives, including the teen’s life.




ABC News reported that President Trump, last year, signed a law to end a requirement that those who receive Social Security benefits for mental health must be listed in a national database that the FBI uses for firearms background check. 


This regulation was enacted by President Obama and it would have added 75,000 people to the database. The rule allowed the people listed to appeal to show they were mentally competent to own a firearm. 

The NRA was opposed to this regulation saying it infringed on the second amendment: the right to bear arms. 


When Trump became president, the House and the Senate passed a law to revoke it, with Trump signing it on February 28. 


This is now important because Trump has often said mental health is the issue with previous mass shootings, and this regulation would have been a step in that direction.




In New York, doctors successfully induced a transgender woman to breastfeed her pregnant partner’s baby, according to a New York Times article. 


The woman (who was born a male but transitioned to a female) told doctors she wanted to be able to breastfeed. 


Doctors at the Mt. Sinai hospital then gave her hormones and various drugs, including one drug that is allowed in Britain and Canada but banned in the U.S., to simulate milk production. 


Within one month, the woman produced droplets of milk, and within 3 months, she could produce 8 oz of milk daily. 


When the baby was born, she could feed it for six weeks, she was the only source of nourishment. The baby had normal development. 


After six weeks, formula was added because of concerns about insufficient milk volume. The baby is now six months old. 


Doctors say this is a first and shows transgender women can, in some cases, breastfeed with scientific intervention. 


There is a mixed reaction — with some lauding the process and saying it will make a big difference for transgender people — but with some saying they need to see more tests to show that the drugs will not cause harm to the baby.




Today the Senate failed to pass a bipartisan immigration bill that would have solved the issue with DACA Dreamers’ legal status to stay in the U.S. 


The proposal would have given 1.8 million undocumented immigrants with a 10-12 year path to citizenship and barred them from sponsoring their parents to become citizens. It included $25 billion for funding for border security over the next 10 years. 


President Trump was opposed to this bill because he felt it did not do enough reduce legal immigration and because it didn’t end the diversity lottery visa program. 


54 Senators voted for it, but 45 opposed. It requires 60 votes to proceed.


There is one more bill that Trump supports, but it is expected to fail because not enough Senators support it. 


The DACA program expires on March 5, from a previous order from President Trump, but the program is still “alive” because federal judges has blocked Trump’s order. It is now up to the Supreme Court to decide if they will take up this case. 


Immigration issues have continued to run into dead-ends in Congress.





Deaf Bing - Attention Please! 


Lynsey: Hello! Deaf Bing: When you’re making a FaceTime call, you’re like, “Hello, how are you doing?” 


(Tapping on phone’s self-facing camera). 


“Hello? Why did you put down the phone? Hello?!” 


(Taps phone again)






That’s all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light! 

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