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A Florida man obsessed with mass shootings was charged with leaving dead animals – including a mutilated duck – at a Parkland school memorial near the site of the 2018 massacre, authorities announced Friday.
Robert Mondragon, 29, began his alleged assault of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Memorial Garden after the July 18 start of gunman Nikolas Cruz’s ongoing penalty trial in Fort Lauderdale.
Jurors will decide whether 23-year-old Cruz, who already pleaded guilty, is sentenced to death or life in prison for the Valentine’s Day rampage that left 17 dead.
A school crossing guard first noticed a duck with its cavity sliced open July 20 on a memorial bench.
The next day there was a dead raccoon in the same spot, and ten days after that a lifeless opossum, officials said.
A deputy pulled over Mondragon July 31 in a white Nissan Sentra for illegally tinted windows and allegedly saw bird feathers and blood on the front passenger side floorboard.
“Mondragon told the deputy he had the dead bird in his car because he likes ‘the metal and blood smell that emit from the dead animal,'” according to a police report.
An investigation uncovered photos of Mondragon allegedly posing with the dead animals on his phone and surveillance footage captured his car at the memorial site.
The probe also revealed that the young man had an obsession with school shootings and has facial tattoos that resemble Tate Langdon’s in “American Horror Story” – a TV series based on the Columbine High School massacre.
Authorities recovered evidence that in 2022 Mondragon eerily retraced Cruz’s path the day of the Parkland shooting.
Mondragon is being held without bond on three counts of disfiguring a monument for defacing the memorial, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
He was first taken into custody Aug. 4 for violating a risk protection order and probation for battery and indecent exposure, officials said.