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Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz had plenty more ammo

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By NBC News  & Kerry Sanders
Nikolas Cruz, facing 17 charges of premeditated murder, in court - 19/2/218
Nikolas Cruz, facing 17 charges of premeditated murder, in court - 19/2/218   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Mike Stocker

Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz may have had plans to unleash even more carnage inside his former high school, NBC News has learned.

Law enforcement sources say at the time Cruz dropped his AR-15 rifle, he still had five fully loaded magazines and more than 150 unspent rounds. One of the magazines was marked with a swastika.

Inside the school, the windows were shattered from the inside. Investigators believe Cruz tried to shoot out the windows at students running for their lives, but the hurricane-strength windows would not break.

Cruz was captured more than three kilometres away by police officer Michael Leonard – now honoured as a hero.

"My heart is very heavy," Leonard said, choking back tears.

"I have a child of a similar age. And when you come against evil like that and you have children at home that are about that age, it's very close to my heart and it was difficult."

The high school is now patrolled by armed deputies in place to protect students, who this Wednesday – 14 days after the massacre – return to school.

Asked to describe how they feel about how she felt about returning to school, Taryn Hibshman, who survived the shooting by hiding in a closet, said: "Uncertain."

"Before we were certain this was never going to happen, and we've had our home our community, our safety ripped away from us. Now we are uncertain," she said.