Mother helped confessed Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz get a gun, report says
SUNRISE, Fla. (CBS12) —
Shocking new developments are stirring heartache and anger.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission - -a commission that includes parents of shooting victims -- is hearing about the parenting choices of Lynda Cruz.
Lynda Cruz is accused shooter Nikolas Cruz’s late adoptive mother who allowed him to get a gun even though mental health professionals told her it was a bad idea.
That backstory was incredibly hard to hear for those parents who buried their children.
“I want Alex here, he should be having fun this summer, instead he’s in a box in a hole in the ground next to his mother,” said Max Schachter, a father and member of the commission.
This was the summer his son Alex would’ve turned 15. Instead of doing father and son stuff, Schachter is hearing about the life of a young man who school officials say found trouble often.
“And we’re going to come after those people that made this happen and did nothing,” Schachter said.
As 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz awaits trial, facing the death penalty for reportedly killing 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High, the commission reviewing everything about the event is hearing shocking background information about him and Lynda Cruz, who died three months before the massacre.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the chairman of the commission, has access to many details not yet known by the public.
Gualtieri told the commission that Lynda Cruz was an “enabler,” she had been in regular contact with mental health counselors about her son and he had over 140 conversations with professionals trying to assess and help him.
He says Lynda Cruz never took advice from professionals and did not stop her son from legally buying a gun.
School officials put Nikolas Cruz into the Broward “Promise Program," a diversion program, but he never completed it.
In 2016, a Level 2 threat assessment was done on Nikolas Cruz by school officials. He got into Level 2 category because he wrote the word “kill” on a paper.
Schachter says the assessment criteria and follow-up needs to change as soon as possible.