More details are emerging about Nikolas Cruz, the suspected school shooter behind the attacks at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day.
At age 5 he witnessed his dad die of a heart attack while at home in the den while his mother was in the kitchen, according to an investigation by the Sun-Sentinel. After witnessing his dad die, he went to his bedroom and cried.
Early on in life, Cruz was diagnosed with depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, emotional behavioral disability and autism according to Department of Children and Families records, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Just one year ago, Cruz’s former classmates claim he brought a dead bird to reading class. He was allegedly spotted “clutching” the bird corpse to his crotch.
“I looked close and I saw he was holding a dead bird near his genitalia,” Tyra Hemans told the Sun-Sentinel. “I saw some feathers and I knew it was a bird. That was disturbing. But I just looked away because it wasn’t my business.”
Hemans told the publication that it is possible that the suspected shooter had been carrying the bird around in his lunchbox. This isn’t the first time he has been accused of killing or liking dead animals. According to the New York Post, someone told the FBI that Cruz took cut open a dead bird to scoop out its insides.
In the wake of the shooting, Cruz’s brother, Zachary, 18, has reportedly admitted to Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies that he bullied his brother along with his friends. He has also expressed shame about doing so.
“Zachary wishes that he had been ‘nicer’ to his brother,” the department said. A 911 call has revealed that Cruz has put a gun to Zachary's head in the past and even to his own mother's head. The boys' mother passed away recently.
Seventeen people died after the vicious school shooting earlier this month. Although the victims ranged in age, many of them were only freshmen. Fourteen others were injured in the massacre.
[Photo: Broward County Sheriff's Office]