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Nikolas Cruz, facing 17 charges of premeditated murder in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, appears in court for a status hearing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Photo by Mike Stocker/Reuters

Florida school shooting suspect indicted on 17 counts of first-degree murder

Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz has been formally charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder, which could mean a death sentence if he’s convicted.

A grand jury in Fort Lauderdale returned the indictment Wednesday against the 19-year-old Cruz for the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in which 17 people died and 16 were wounded.

The indictment also charges Cruz with 17 counts of attempted murder.

Cruz’s public defender has said he’ll plead guilty if prosecutors take the death penalty off the table, which would mean a life prison sentence. The Broward County state attorney hasn’t announced a decision on the death penalty.

This story will be updated as it develops.

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