Brother of suspected Florida shooter arrested at high school

Broward County Sheriffs' officials on Monday arrested 18-year-old Zachary Cruz, the brother of the Parkland school shooter, for trespassing onto Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Doing so would have made it hard or even impossible for Cruz to legally buy a gun.

The youth's brother, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, has been charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder in connection with the February 14 shooting. They listed several factors, including that Cruz knowingly created a risk of death for many people and that the shooting was "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel".

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.

School officials had previously recommended accused Florida gunman Nikolas Cruz should be institutionalized but never acted upon it before the massacre that killed 17 people last month, documents say. That law allows for involuntary commitment for mental health examination for at least three days.

Mr. Cruz denied telling another student that he wanted to use a gun or that he had ingested gasoline, the documents say.

The report of a September 28, 2016 interview read that Cruz "cut his arms 3-4 weeks ago and states that this is the only time he has ever cut".

Wednesday's plea in a Fort Lauderdale court came after Cruz's defense attorney told the judge that the teen was standing mute to the charges - meaning he was declining to enter a plea.

In the Henderson Behavioral Health documents, Cruz's mother Lynda is quoted as saying she had fresh concerns about her son's mental state after he punched holes in a wall at their home in Parkland. Calls had even been made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the possibility of Cruz using a gun at school.

It's unclear who received the officials' recommendation to commit Cruz and why it was not acted upon, according to the AP. The alleged trespassing was captured on CCTV, the report states.

Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder.

He faces the death penalty if convicted, but defence lawyer Melisa McNeill said he would plead guilty in return for a life prison sentence.


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