February 14, 2018 started out as a relatively calm day for Florida’s Sun Sentinel newsroom. Then, Nikolas Cruz walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a semiautomatic rifle. Before the day was done, 17 people would be dead and 17 more would be wounded in one of the deadliest school shootings in modern American history. On this week’s episode, reporters Megan O’Matz and Brittany Wallman discuss how they investigated Cruz’s background amid the chaos of breaking news. Interviews, leaked documents and records requests revealed that officials had been warned of the shooter’s troubled past.
Looking for links to the stories and resources we discussed on this week’s podcast? We’ve collected them for you.
- Read the Sun Sentinel’s profile “School shooter Nikolas Cruz: A lost and lonely killer.
- Browse the Sun Sentinel’s timeline “Nikolas Cruz: A timeline of the warning signs ahead of Stoneman Douglas shooting.
- Check out the Sun Sentinel’s continued coverage of the Parkland School Shooting here.
- Members only: Download the tipsheet “Consider the source: Building expertise on trauma for better watchdog + investigative reporting” by Katherine Reed.
- Members only: Download the tipsheet “Shoot us straight: Correctly using data and docs on guns” by Nick Penzenstadler, Matt Drange and Kim Smith.
- Members only: Download the tipsheet “Social Media and Breaking News: Finding key sources and background information, fast” by Molly Young.
Kalsted (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Tyrano Theme (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Slow Dial (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Warm Fingers (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Low Light Switch (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Tessa Weinberg reported this episode. IRE Editorial Director Sarah Hutchins edits the podcast. Blake Nelson draws our episode art. We are recorded in the studios of KBIA at the University of Missouri.