Published: Tue, March 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Parkland school shooting suspect's brother arrested for allegedly trespassing at Stoneman Douglas

Parkland school shooting suspect's brother arrested for allegedly trespassing at Stoneman Douglas

Counselors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a sheriff's deputy recommended that Nikolas Cruz be institutionalized 17 months before his deadly massacre at the Parkland, Florida school, the Associated Press reports. Authorities say Cruz, a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, killing more than a dozen people and injuring several.

Cruz is accused of killing 17 people and injuring 17 others during the February attack. Calls had even been made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the possibility of Cruz using a gun at school.

The documents, provided by Henderson Behavioral Health as part of Cruz's case, were part of a psychological assessment that began after Cruz's since-deceased mother, Lynda, discovered that he had punched holes in the wall at home.

According to the arrest report, he told deputies he wanted to "reflect on the school shooting and soak it in".

An involuntary commitment for a mental health examination, as was recommended, could act as a complete barrier towards buying a gun.

Zachary Cruz was being held on a $25 bond, while his brother, Nikolas Cruz is charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder, and has no bond, county records showed.

Despite the warnings and recommendations regarding Cruz's state of mental health, there's no evidence that he was ever committed. He faces the death penalty if convicted, but his public defender Melisa McNeill has said he would plead guilty in return for a life prison sentence.

Five days earlier, on September 23, Ms. Cruz had summoned a different Henderson clinician to her home because Mr. Cruz was verbally aggressive and "punching holes in the wall".

Zachary Cruz, 18, was arrested about 4:30 p.m. after officials saw him riding his skateboard through the school campus, according to an arrest affidavit.

But Deputy Peterson apparently changed his mind about the commitment request the next day.

They say he wrote the word "kill" in a notebook, told a classmate he wanted to buy a gun and use it and said he had self-harmed by cutting his arm after he broke up with his girlfriend.

Again, very little was done.

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