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Coconut Creek police honor officer who arrested Parkland school shooting suspect

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Posted at 9:57 AM, Jan 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-24 09:57:28-05

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (AP) — The police officer who arrested the suspect in last year's Parkland school massacre has been honored for bravery.

The Coconut Creek Police Department awarded Officer Michael Leonard with its Medal of Valor this week for arresting Nicholas Cruz, who's charged with killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

Leonard had responded to the school, but after learning the suspect had fled, began patrolling nearby neighborhoods. He spotted Cruz walking about a mile from the school wearing a burgundy shirt and black pants, which the shooter had worn. Leonard pulled up, drew his handgun and ordered Cruz to the ground.

The now 20-year-old suspect has pleaded not guilty, but his attorneys say he would plead guilty for a life sentence. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.