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Florida School Shooter Nikolas Cruz's Brother Regrets Bullying Him

Zachary Cruz says that he bullied the shooter who allegedly killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Tragedy Strikes in Florida High School Shooting

The brother of the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas is speaking out about mistreating his older sibling. Nikolas Cruz, 19, is alleged to be the shooter behind the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. His younger brother, Zachary, says that he used to bully him and possibly could have prevented the shooting, according to CNN.

Zachary, who recently turned 18, told investigators from Palm Beach and Broward counties that he and his friends had bullied Nikolas. Zachary "now regrets ever doing" that. He believes that he may have been the more "favored brother" and because of that, Nikolas had harbored resentment.

There have been emerging reports about Nikolas Cruz's family life prior to the Parkland shooting. At the age of 5 he reportedly witnessed his father die of a heart attack while at home, according to an investigation by the Sun-Sentinel. After witnessing his dad die, he went to his bedroom and cried. He was diagnosed with depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, emotional behavioral disability and autism according to Department of Children and Families records. 

The two boys were adopted as infants by Lynda and Roger Cruz, according to the New York Post. Their mother died on November 1 due to flu-related pneumonia and the siblings lived with a family friend. Following the shooting, Zachary was involuntarily committed for mental observation, according to the New York Post.

Recently, a neighbor went on the record to speak out about Nikolas, stating that his childhood behavior was erratic and disconcerting. Joelle Guarino believed that he would always shoot up a school, given his violent past. Guarino describes the teen as being sullen, avoiding eye contact with her and not speaking to anyone. She says that he did play with her children but displayed violent and anti-social behavior. On one instance, she says that the teen threw a rock at her son and hit him in the eye. In another, she says that his bedroom was filled with holes, from when he got mad and punched the walls. 

"I had no doubt he was going to do this," she said to CNN. "My husband and I both knew that we would eventually see him one day on the news, wearing an orange jumpsuit being charged with murder."

Nikolas Cruz allegedly went back to his high school in Parkland, Florida and opened fire with an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle on February 14. The incident was one of the most deadly mass shootings in modern American history. He has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

[Photo: Getty Images]