PETA Statement: Suspected High School Shooter Has Reported History of Animal Abuse

For Immediate Release:
February 15, 2018

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Miami – Below, please find a statement from Stephanie Bell, senior director of cruelty casework at PETA, in response to reports that the suspected gunman in yesterday’s tragic Florida high school shooting previously used animals as target practice:

It is no surprise to PETA that before he allegedly massacred 17 people at a school in Parkland, Florida, Nikolas Cruz is said to have talked about shooting small animals, including lizards, squirrels, frogs, and a neighbor’s chickens, and reportedly sent his dog to a neighbor’s house to attack the pigs there. The FBI has identified cruelty to animals as a warning sign of more violence to come, and many school shooters and serial killers have a history of abusing animals. While the issues of gun control and mental health rage on, one simple way to prevent future acts of violence is for local law-enforcement officials to pursue the strongest penalties possible in cruelty-to-animals cases—for everyone’s sake—and for those who hear about or witness animal abuse to report it.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way.” For more information, please visit

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