Suspected Florida gunman legally bought AK-47-style rifle weeks before school shooting, report says

Nikolas Cruz, the suspected gunman who opened fire at a Florida high school last week that left 17 students and teachers dead, legally purchased at least seven long guns, including an AK-47-style rifle that he bought less than a month ago, an official told The Associated Press.   

The AR-15 weapon that authorities believed was used in Wednesday’s deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was also legally purchased by the 19-year-old, the report said.

The official is not authorized to discuss the detail of the investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity with the AP.

The high School is set to reopen in phases beginning on Friday, and the district hopes to resume classes on a modified schedule starting Tuesday. 

The mass shooting has reignited the debate over gun control, and prompted an outcry from protesters demanding tougher background checks and gun-safety measures.

Nikolas Cruz appears in court for a status hearing before Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. Cruz is charged with killing 17 people and wounding many others in Wednesday's attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School  in Parkland, which he once attended. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool)

Nikolas Cruz appears in court for a status hearing before Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Monday, Feb. 19, 2018.  (South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

About 500 protesters gathered at a park in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, holding signs that said “Our Children Are Counting On You,” with others chanting “Ho, ho, hey, hey, our kids, not the NRA.”

Cruz, who authorities say admitted to the shooting last week, is charged with killing 17 people and wounding more than a dozen others in the rampage.

According to his lawyers, Cruz plans on pleading guilty if prosecutors agree to take the death penalty off the table.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.