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The Latest: Deputy at school shooting called a ‘coward’

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz (all times local):

4:10 p.m.

Commissioners investigating the causes of a massacre at a Florida school have heavily criticized the actions of the sheriff’s deputy assigned to the campus, calling him a coward for not confronting the gunman.

Members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission said Wednesday that Broward sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson was “not a real cop,” ”lacked intestinal fortitude” and was “a coward” as they reviewed video and photos of his actions during the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 dead. Peterson did not enter the building to confront the alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz, but stayed outside.

His attorney did not respond to an email Wednesday seeking comment. Peterson is scheduled to testify before the commission Thursday. He has previously said he did not know whether the shots were coming from inside or outside the building and that he only heard two or three shots.

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12:50 p.m.

A detective says Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz’s internet search records show he looked up “school massacre” three months before he allegedly killed 17 people.

Pinellas County Sgt. John Suess told the Marjory Stoneman High commission Wednesday that Cruz’s searches about the 1999 Columbine High shooting in Colorado and other school massacres increased over the coming months. He also wrote about killing people, took photos of himself with guns, kept racist screenshots on his cellphone and in the minutes before the Feb. 14 shooting sent love notes to his ex-girlfriend by text message.

Five days before the shooting, Cruz did an internet search for “therapist for homicidal,” which some commissioners think means he was having second thoughts. But within days, videos on his phone show he had committed himself to the massacre.

Earlier Wednesday, the Broward Sheriff’s Office announced Cruz had been charged with attacking a jail guard on Tuesday.

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10:55 a.m.

Authorities say Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz attacked a detention officer at the county jail and now faces new charges.

Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright confirmed in an email Wednesday that Cruz assaulted the deputy around 6 p.m. Tuesday. Details weren’t immediately available, nor the extent of any injuries.

Jail records show Cruz now is charged with aggravated assault on an officer, battery on an officer and use of an “electric or chemical weapon against an officer.”

The 20-year-old Cruz already faces the death penalty in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17 people and wounded 17 others. He’s pleaded not guilty in the shooting but his lawyers say he would plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence.

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