In this image made from one of three videos released on Wednesday by the Broward County State Attorney’s Office, Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in February’s shooting at a Florida high school, laughs as he announces his intention to become the next school shooter. Picture: AP
THE TEEN charged with shooting 17 people dead at his former high school in Parkland, Florida, on February14 boasted of plans to commit mass murder in a series of cellphone videos he recorded before the rampage. The videos were released on Wednesday by prosecutors.

In one of the three video clips, Nikolas Cruz, 19, calmly declares, “Hello. My name is Nik and I’m going to be the next school shooter of 2018.” He goes on to say: “My goal is to kill at least 20 people with an AR-15,” referring to the assault-style rifle he is seen holding in the footage.

Brandishing the rifle at another point, Cruz says: “You’re all going to die,” adding with a chuckle, “Can’t wait.”

The video clips were part of an inventory of prosecution evidence recently shared with the defence team during the pre-trial discovery process, said Constance Jones-Simmons, a spokeswoman for the Broward County state attorney’s office.

The Miami Herald and other media outlets obtained copies through a public records request after seeing mention of the footage in court documents, she said.

The three videos, none longer than 90 seconds, are believed to have been made a short time before the shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, although Jones-Simmons said she did not know precisely when they were recorded.

Cruz has been described by former classmates as a social misfit and trouble maker who was fascinated with guns.

The police have said they responded to numerous calls related to the teenager in the years leading up to the massacre. - Reuters