A former friend of the gunman accused of killing 17 people last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is speaking out. According to Ariana Lopez, who shared her story with "Good Morning America," the suspected shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, previously talked about killing friends and family.
"He talked about killing our parents, our friends, boyfriends and girlfriends," she said of Cruz.
"He used to sell knives out of his lunch box, which I thought was insane, because this is a school. He's like, 'Hey guys, want some knives?'" Lopez continued.
Lopez was present during the shooting and hid in a school closet. She said that her former friend was obsessed with guns.
“He posted pictures of like 15 or more firearms just on his bed, like this was normal, like you could even see a hamper in the background. That’s how ordinary this was to him,” Lopez said.
According to her, family and friends reported their concerns over Cruz's behavior to authorities several times. She said that Cruz was allegedly abusive to his ex-girlfriend.
“He would hit her, he would threaten her, he would threaten her family and her friends for talking to other guys,” she said.
When word spread of a shooter at the high school, Lopez said it was no surprise that it was Cruz.
“He was the only person that we could think of that would do something like this,” she said.
Others disagree with the notion that Cruz was anything but normal. According to James Snead, whose family took Cruz in last November, the teen didn't appear disturbed and showed no warning signs of what was to come.
"The Nik we knew was not the monster he turned out to be," he said.
As Newsweek reported, Cruz was held for psychiatric evaluation in 2016 after he posted a Snapchat video talking about getting a gun and self-harming, per a report from the Florida Department of Children and Families. He was evaluated by Henderson Behavioral Health professionals but not hospitalized at the time.
Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder following the shooting.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxgen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.