Nikolas Cruz allegedly killed 17 students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14. Since then, investigators have been trying to piece together what led Cruz to commit such a heinous act. But it appears there were several red flags that were missed, including footage of Cruz actually detailing his plan. Check out page 7 for more information on the video, and read on to see all the signs that were missed.
Cruz once introduced himself as a school shooter long before the Parkland event took place
After neighbors realized what Cruz had done on Valentine’s Day, they started to come forward about his past behavior. They said they had worried about Cruz since he was young, and his violent tendencies only grew as he got older. He’d gotten in fights with neighborhood boys and threw rocks at another boy. Cruz became obsessed with weapons and even introduced himself to neighbors as a school shooter.
Next: The police had a long past with Cruz.
The police had been called to Cruz’s home several times in the last few years
The police were no strangers to Cruz. According to CNN, deputies with the Broward County Sheriff’s office had been called to Cruz’s home numerous time for his violent outbursts. About 45 calls were recorded between 2008 and 2017; they came from the Cruz home and had to do with either him or his brother. But nothing much ever came of the phone calls, and the violence clearly never stopped. The FBI also received two tips about Cruz but never followed through on them.
Next: Students had one shocking thing to say about Cruz’s attack.
Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas said it was ‘no surprise’ he was the shooter
Shockingly, students didn’t seem surprised that Cruz had decided to carry out a school shooting. One student told The New York Times, “A lot of people were saying that it would be him. They would say he would be the one to shoot up the school. Everyone predicted it.” Cruz’s behavior had caught the attention of the administration in the past, but nothing was done about it. Students said he didn’t have any friends and always kept to himself.
Next: A Snapchat Cruz sent resulted in mental health officials visiting him.
A Florida mental health agency examined Cruz in 2016 but didn’t hospitalize him
In 2016, a mental health official visited Cruz and evaluated him after word spread about a Snapchat of Cruz cutting himself and saying he wanted to buy a gun. The official found that he was stable enough to not be hospitalized. Cruz’s mother said he started cutting himself after a breakup, but she assured officials that Cruz was taking his medications properly. As a result, no actions were taken based on Cruz’s vulgar Snapchat.
Next: Cruz and his mother had a difficult relationship.
He often acted violently toward his adoptive mother
Cruz was adopted, and his father died in 2004. He often fought with his mother, Lynda, which resulted in calls to the police. According to CNN, in one instance, he hit his mother with the plastic hose from a vacuum cleaner. In a separate instance, he called his mother profane names and threw a chair across the room after she took away his video game system. Police responded to the situation, but nothing was done. At one point, a source said that Lynda considered signing over parental rights of both of her sons.
Next: The loss of Cruz’s mother didn’t help his mental instability.
Nikolas Cruz’s mother died three months before the shooting, and Cruz lived with family friends
In fall 2017, Cruz’s mother contracted the flu, which later turned into pneumonia. Sadly, she passed away, and Lynda Cruz’s boyfriend described Cruz as “stoic” during the funeral and said he showed no tears or emotions. Cruz was taken in by a neighbor. CNN reported he later got in trouble with the family for hiding a gun in the backyard. The police were called, but there was no evidence of a gun. A few days later, they were called again when his host family said he threatened to go get his gun after he’d fought with the family’s son.
Next: Cruz’s videos before the shooting prove he was in serious need of mental help.
Just before the shooting, Cruz recorded videos of his plan to carry out the massacre
Cruz recorded himself explaining that he wanted to be the next school shooter. In the video, he discussed how his goal was to kill “at least 20 people.” He also explained that he was tired of people telling him what to do and when to do it. He ended the video by making machine gun noises and said, “You’re all going to die,” followed by, “Can’t wait.”
Next: Cruz’s attitude in the video says it all.
Footage shows that he appeared excited about taking others’ lives
The way Cruz spoke during the video made him appear excited at the thought of taking the lives of people at school. He confidently introduced himself as “the next school shooter of 2018.” He referred to the day as a big event and thought he could easily do it. He said, “You will all know who I am,” and “You are all going to die,” with a tone that suggested he was excited about what he was about to do. And he even chuckled toward the end of the video. His troubled mental state was never addressed, and it altered the Parkland community forever.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!