Brother of Parkland shooting suspect arrested for trespassing at school, officials say

A student’s best friend

The Newnan Times-Herald

Zachary Cruz, 18, told deputies he went to the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to "reflect on the school shooting and soak it in", according to the arrest report.

Documents in the criminal case against Nikolas Cruz show the school officials at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a sheriff's deputy recommended in September 2016 that Cruz be involuntarily committed for mental evaluation under Florida's Baker Act for at least three days. Such a commitment would have made it more hard, if not impossible, for Cruz to have legally obtained a gun such as the AR-15 assault-style rifle used in the shooting. In addition, 17 people were wounded.

This is a developing story.

The FBI was also under fire for not acting on tips suggesting Cruz was possibly planning a school shooting.

The resource officer in question was former Broward County sheriff's deputy Scot Peterson, who resigned over his failure to confront Cruz during his half-hour assault on the school. The Baker Act gave Peterson the authority to give such recommendation.

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

There is no evidence Cruz was ever committed.

Zachary Cruz, who Broward County officials said has no ties to the area, was interviewed by detectives from multiple law enforcement agencies after the February 14 massacre, according to police records.

The records are from Henderson Behavioral Health, a local clinic that school officials called for help dealing with Mr. Cruz. Cruz admitted he did so over his failed relationship, according to documents.

Lynda Cruz, Cruz's mother who died in November, expressed in the documents she was anxious about her son's mental state after he punched holes in the walls of their Parkland home.

Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder. Prosecutors have said they would seek the death penalty if he is convicted. (Cruz) states that he cut because he was lonely, states that he had broken up with his girlfriend and reports that his grades had fallen. "(Cruz) states that he is better now, reports that he is no longer lonely and states that his grades have gone back up".

The Cruz brothers both stayed with friends in Lantana, in Palm Beach County, Fla., after their mother died.

Again, very little was done.

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