The tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by alleged killer Nikolas Cruz has caused a remarkable amount of search terms to appear on social media about Cruz as people try and dig into his background and separate truth from fiction online. As people await additional words from President Donald Trump about the tragedy as he is set to address the nation, questions about Trump tweeting about the “mentally disturbed” Florida shooter attached to his tweet about DACA recipients have been noted on the social networking site.
Twitter reports that Nikolas Cruz is the second-most trending phrase as of this writing, with nearly 80,000 tweets about the alleged shooter flowing into the social networking site right now. Also trending are the hashtags #ParklandSchoolShooting and #GunReformNow.
Aaron Feis, the football coach who died a hero by saving Florida high school students amid a hail of bullets is also trending on Twitter, along with labels like #BanAssaultWeapons and #ParklandStrong. However, Twitter’s search engine and “related search terms” also reveal what information people are seeking regarding the shooter.
FBI agents were warned about Nikolas Cruz’s plans to become a “professional school shooter” months ago, according to a YouTube vlogger who noticed a sick comment on one of his videos. https://t.co/VPzQ3o4ibw pic.twitter.com/uMsSKpkpH0— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 15, 2018
As seen in a search via Twitter’s search box, there is confusion over how to spell Nikolas’ first name, especially with the Broward Sheriff’s Office initially misspelling his name. An updated tweet below shows “Nikolas Cruz” as the correct spelling of his name.
Correction: suspect’s name is spelled Nikolas Cruz #StonemanShooting— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) February 15, 2018
Twitter reports Nicolas de Jesus Cruz surging, which is how Heavy reported his name, as seen below.
Nicolas de Jesus Cruz, a 19-year-old former student at Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, identified as suspected shooter. He was previously reported as a threat to the school, according to the @MiamiHerald https://t.co/l7jJXBZlt5 #breaking pic.twitter.com/xmmA0RQOCx— Heavy.com (@HeavySan) February 14, 2018
There are also searches for “Nikolas Cruz illegal,” with claims he was born in Guadalajara from some Twitter users who have not provided proof of such a claim. No valid news organizations could be readily found that have reported that information as of this writing.
#Parkland shooting suspect Cruz followed all types of gun groups as well as resistance groups on social media including the Syrian resistance & Iraqi fighters. Cruz apparently was told last year he was not allowed to come back on campus because of threats against students. pic.twitter.com/vVEUlU72Sp— Nick Short ???????? (@PoliticalShort) February 14, 2018
“Nikolas Cruz immigrant” is another popular search term, with folks attempting to link Cruz’s citizenship with his alleged crime.
Apparently, the shooter in Florida today, Nikolas Cruz, is an Islamic terrorist, Nazi, white supremacist, black gang member, Communist, Trump lover, Trump hater, illegal immigrant, drug lord from Colombia.— Jeffrey Riley (@Ihatethisugh1) February 15, 2018
According to Google Trends, a differing set of search terms are also popular surrounding Cruz. Folks are searching for “Nikolous Cruz,” in a wrongly spelled version of his name. They are asking, “What race is Nikolas Cruz?” Googlers are comparing the shooting to the Columbine High School shooting, relating the Parkland shooting suspect to other school shootings in America.
They want to know if “Nikolas Cruz” was a communist, and are asking if Florida has the death penalty in 2018.