Who Is Lorenzo Prado? Student Says We 'Can't Just Blame Nikolas Cruz' for Florida Shooting

Survivors of last week's school shooting in Parkland, Florida, gathered in Tallahassee Wednesday to advocate for stricter gun laws. Among them was Lorenzo Prado, an 11th grader who took to the podium to demand change.

Prado discussed the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead and numerous others injured. Addressing the crowd, he also talked about Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old charged with carrying out the shooting. In a powerful address, Prado lamented the failure of a system that allowed Cruz to purchase a gun.

Cruz remains behind bars, charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

"We can't just blame Nikolas Cruz for this tragedy, because the laws of our country allowed him to purchase a weapon," Prado said during a press conference. "Nikolas Cruz was able to purchase an assault rifle before he was able to drink beer. Nikolas Cruz was able to purchase an as assault rifle, although he had clear signs of mental illness. Nikolas Cruz was able to purchase an assault rifle with clear signs of delinquency from the school. Nikolas Cruz was able to purchase an assault rifle with the intention to kill."

Prado called for stricter gun laws and immediate change from legislators in the wake of the shooting.

"I am here to demand change from our government, because the lives lost, who shall not be lost in vain, shall then be used as a catalyst for change in our country today," Prado said. "We will make change in this country, and if not today, tomorrow. And if not tomorrow, the day after that and the day after that, until we achieve the change that we want in this country."

Prado also recounted his memories from that day, explaining how he was mistaken for being the shooter. He said that because he was wearing similarly colored clothing and matched Cruz's description, SWAT team members descended upon him and drew their guns.

"I found out that they thought it was me that killed the 17 people," he said. "When I went out those doors, I had six SWAT members pointing their guns at me. I was tossed to the ground. I was unjustly cuffed and held at gunpoint for the degrading and depreciating action of the disturbed individual Nikolas Cruz."

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On the steps of Fort Lauderdale's Broward County federal courthouse on February 17, people protest the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that killed 17. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Who Is Lorenzo Prado? Student Says We 'Can't Just Blame Nikolas Cruz' for Florida Shooting | U.S.