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PARKLAND (CBSMiami) – CBS4 News has obtained new information in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre which left 17 people dead.
An official briefed on the shooting investigation tells CBS4 News that the carnage could have been far worse.
Investigators believe self-confessed gunman Nikolas Cruz had planned on using a vantage point on the third-floor stairwell on the west side of the building to shoot at students as they fled the building.
Cruz attempted to create this sniper’s nest by shooting out the glass window in the stairwell, firing 16 rounds into the impact glass. Luckily, the hurricane proof window did not shatter.
Cruz then attempted to reload, and after changing magazine clips, the weapon is believed to have jammed, according to three sources familiar with the investigation.
Frustrated, and with police now responding, Cruz dropped the gun in the stairwell, ran down to the ground floor and fled the building with the students. Sources say he still had more than 150 rounds of ammunition left when he fled.
The fact that the gun may have jammed while he was changing clips is one of the reasons why Senator Marco Rubio announced during the CNN Town Hall in Parkland last week that he is now willing to consider banning high capacity magazines.
“I believe that there will be evidence that at a key moment in this incident three or four people, three or four people, might be alive today because of something this deranged killer did, had to do,” said Rubio at the Town Hall.
The massacre at the high school has also prompted the city of Parkland to add a larger police presence at its five public schools for the rest of the school year, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Parkland City Hall will spend $180,000 on extra security, raising the number of officers at each school from one to two.
In addition to Marjory Stoneman, the other schools are Westglades Middle, Park Trails Elementary, Riverglades Elementary and Heron Heights Elementary. The change is effective immediately.
Students are scheduled to return to Marjory Stoneman Wednesday, for the first time since the Feb. 14 shooting. They will be on a modified schedule Wednesday through Friday from 7:40 – 11:40 a.m.