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Nikolas Cruz Gun Shop Getting Blasted Online ... Gets Help from Yelp

2/16/2018 12:44 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The Florida gun store that sold Nikolas Cruz the weapon he used to kill 17 people is getting attacked online by people blaming them for the massacre, and it's gotten so bad ... Yelp's offering the business some protection.

Sunrise Tactical Supply sold Cruz the AR-15 a year ago. Although cops say the sale was completely legal, the backlash against Sunrise has been swift and severe on its Yelp page. Some commenters call the company "merchants of death," and say it's "complicit" in the Florida shooting because they sold the rifle to an 18-year-old "with mental problems."

Not shockingly, they're also getting a wave of 1-star reviews.

A Yelp rep tells TMZ ... they've now placed an active cleanup alert on Sunrise's page to remind users that comments not based on firsthand experience will be removed. We're told the goal is to "shield businesses from online harassment" as a result of media attention.

Doug Rudman, the attorney for Sunrise Tactical's owners, tells us the ATF has exonerated his clients and made it clear they the sale to Cruz was completely on the up-and-up. Until further notice, however, it is reported that the shop is closed indefinitely.

Florida Mass School Shooting Bulletproof Backpack In High Demand

2/16/2018 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

There has been a run on bulletproof backpacks in the aftermath of the slaughter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School ... TMZ has learned. 

A company called Bullet Blocker sells the fortified knapsacks for anywhere between $200 and $500. We're told the company sold 500 of the bags Thursday, a 30% spike in regular sales since the shooting. 

The company's owner, Joe Curran, tells us the majority of the backpacks sold this week are headed to Florida.   

The item is made with a Kevlar lining and weighs about 4 1/2 pounds.  

Joe's company sells a bunch of bulletproof gear on a regular basis, but he says Thursday, backpacks were at the top of his sales list, and most of those sales were in Florida.

BTW ... the company also sells bulletproof luxury items, like Gucci bomber jackets and Hermes bags.

A sign of the times. 

Nicole Eggert Even IF I Was 18 ... Baio Was Too Old for Sex with Me!

2/15/2018 2:28 PM PST

Nicole Eggert's got new beef with Scott Baio -- now she's essentially claiming he's a dirty old man.

Nicole was on "Good Day LA" Thursday when she was asked about Scott insisting she was 18 when they had sex. Her response -- "Let's say that were true. That still made him how old?"

The answer to her question is Scott would have been 29 or 30 ... clearly, too old in Nicole's eyes. She also insinuated Scott's guilty of just being creepy because she thinks, if nothing else, he thought about having sex with her before she was legal.

Eggert has previously said she thinks she was as young as 14 when she and Scott first hooked up. As we've reported ... he denies any sexual contact with Nicole while she was underage.

Florida Shooting I Reported Cruz to FBI 5 Months Ago ... Whistleblower Speaks Out

2/15/2018 1:41 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Nikolas Cruz, the now-confessed Florida school shooter, was on the FBI's radar 5 months ago, thanks to a man who reported a disturbingly violent comment Cruz left on a YouTube video.

We spoke to Ben Bennight, a Mississippi bail bondsman, who says he regularly posts vids related to his job. He says back in September he noticed Cruz commented on one of them, saying ... "I'm going to be a professional school shooter." He says he immediately contacted authorities.

Ben told us all the details about his FBI interview, and added ... he never heard from agents again until after Wednesday's horrifying events. Cruz now admits to killing 17 people during the rampage at his old high school.

The FBI says it never made contact with Cruz after they spoke to Ben. They say the comment was not specific enough to warrant a subpoena for an IP address or other info from YouTube ... which might have led them to Cruz.

As we reported ... Cruz also referenced a mass campus shooting in a YouTube comment 9 months ago.

Alleged Shooter Nikolas Cruz Appears in Court

2/15/2018 11:06 AM PST
Breaking News

1:29 PM PT -- Cruz confessed to the shooting and told cops he was hiding extra ammunition in his backpack, this according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press.

Nikolas Cruz -- the 19-year-old man accused of murdering 17 people at his old high school in Parkland, Florida -- appeared in court for the first time Thursday.

Cruz, accompanied by two attorneys and several police officers, remained silent while his charges -- 17 counts of premeditated murder -- were read aloud. Cruz will be held without bond. 

As we reported ... Cruz threatened 9 months ago to carry out a mass shooting ... posting a comment on a YouTube video about the Texas University clock tower shootings, saying "I am going to [do] what he did." He also said he wished "to kill as many as I can."

Cruz is accused of using an AR-15 rifle to carry out the murders. He was taken to jail Thursday morning wearing a hospital gown.

Alleged Shooter Nikolas Cruz Obsessed Over Guns, Violence ... on Social Media

2/15/2018 11:40 AM PST

Nikolas Cruz was hooked on weapons and violence ... and that obsession was played out over and over again on his social media pages. 

The 19-year-old posed with guns, knives and even bragged about killing a frog on his Instagram account. Cruz is also seen sporting a  Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" hat in another post ... and Cruz allegedly posted pics of shotguns and military-grade rifle bullets on another personal Instagram account.

As we reported ... Cruz participated in at least one training exercise with a white supremacist group.

Cruz -- who 9 months ago threatened to carry out a mass shooting -- is accused of using an AR-15 rifle to carry out the murders. He remained silent while his charges -- 17 counts of premeditated murder -- were read aloud Thursday in court.

Florida Shooting Student's Horrific Joke Ready for 'Round 2'

2/15/2018 11:05 AM PST

It's almost beyond words ... a freshman at a South Carolina high school posted a photo of himself wearing a mask and holding what looks like an assault rifle with the caption, "Round 2 of Florida tomorrow."

The 9th grader is now in custody after an alarmed parent notified authorities and sent along the Snapchat pic.

Deputies descended on the home of the student, who told them the post was a joke. Law enforcement found the gun -- an airsoft rifle -- and after a search of the home determined the student had no access to firearms.

He was taken into custody and is at a juvenile facility.

Nikolas Cruz Trained with White Supremacists Leader Confirms Affiliation

2/15/2018 10:07 AM PST

The man who allegedly shot and killed 17 people at his former high school reportedly trained with a local white supremacist group in Florida before the massacre.

Jordan Jereb -- the leader of the white supremacist group Republic of Florida (ROF) -- told the Anti-Defamation League Thursday suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz had participated in at least one training exercise of theirs near Tallahassee, carpooling with other members.

Jereb said Cruz was "brought up" by another ROF member, but added that neither he nor anyone in ROF had directed Cruz to carry out the alleged crime.

Cruz has been charged with premeditated murder. At least 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL ... and Cruz is currently in custody.

Donald Trump Jr.'s Wife Exposed to White Powder in Mailed Letter

2/12/2018 10:56 AM PST
Breaking News

Donald Trump Jr.'s wife was exposed to an unidentified white powder after opening a letter intended for her husband ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us Vanessa Trump was exposed to the substance Monday morning. The letter -- which we're told said something along the lines of Jr. being an awful person and getting what he deserves -- was sent to her mother's apartment in Midtown Manhattan. 

We're told Vanessa and 2 other people were taken to a hospital as a precaution. The substance itself was tested and NYPD says it's non hazardous. The envelope was reportedly addressed to Trump Jr., although it went to his mother-in-law's home.

We still don't know who sent it. The Secret Service is also investigating the matter.

Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy Rocket Freaks Out Over Launch 'Holy Flying F**k'

2/11/2018 11:42 AM PST

Elon Musk was just as shocked as anybody over the successful launch of his Falcon Heavy rocket ... perhaps even more so, actually, based on his colorful language. 

National Geographic captured the SpaceX CEO's reaction Tuesday as his company sent the most powerful U.S. rocket in nearly half a century into space from the Kennedy Space Center. His immediate response ... "Holy flying f***, that thing took off." 

Musk and staff essentially freaked out over the launch, and appropriately so. SpaceX sent a rocket into orbit with a Tesla Roadster attached as part of its payload ... a major step forward for colonizing Mars.

Besides ... the launch and touchdown of their booster rockets was quite a sight to behold. So we'll pardon his French on this one ... it was pretty f****** cool.

Donald Trump Lashes Out at #MeToo Movement ... People Deserve Due Process

2/10/2018 7:47 AM PST

Donald Trump just went on the attack against the #MeToo movement, complaining mere allegations are ruining lives without due process.

Trump just tweeted, "Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?"

Rob Porter, who served as a key aide to the President until he resigned this week after allegations surfaced that he abused his 2 ex-wives, seemed to be the catalyst for Trump's tirade. Trump wished Porter well Friday, essentially saying there was a rush to judgment in believing his accusers. 

A second member of Trump's team, speechwriter David Sorenson, resigned Friday after domestic abuse allegations as well.  

Kate Upton Guess Needs to Clean House ... Marciano's Just the Start

2/8/2018 2:05 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Kate Upton's calling for wholesale changes at Guess, and suggests the company's problems go far beyond co-founder Paul Marciano.

We got Kate Thursday leaving Nello in NYC and she did NOT rule out working with Guess again, but she's got some big caveats. On the heels of her bombshell allegation Marciano groped her breasts, thighs and forcibly kissed her back in 2010 -- she's now adding there are others who need to be 86'd. 

Paul has denied Kate's claims, but she's now saying there's a culture at Guess that won't change until its co-founder takes a hike.

Upton also has some words for Jennifer Lopez and any women still on the roster.

You'll recall, J Lo was the guest of honor at a Guess launch party thrown just hours after Kate started hinting on social media about her Marciano allegations.

Marciano has told us he thinks she purposely timed it, attempting to upstage his moment with Jennifer. 

Keegan-Michael Key The Tesla's Great, But Here's What Elon Should Launch Next

2/7/2018 6:51 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Keegan-Michael Key is blown away by Elon Musk's latest triumph, but he has the perfect household item the great explorer should hurl into space next.

We got the "Key & Peele" star Tuesday in Bev Hills leaving The Palm and asked if he'd caught the launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket -- which was historic for lots of reasons.

He says he missed it, but sounds pleased with the results. Then he hits our camera guy with a little bit of a hot take -- humans aren't stepping foot onto Mars anytime soon ... despite the Tesla Roadster and the mannequin spaceman zipping toward the red planet. 

Keegan thinks the car is cool, but there's something that Martians may find more useful.

He makes a solid point ... that a private citizen with a passion for space exploration might be better suited to tool around the galaxy than NASA.

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