Officials Recommended Fla. Suspect To Be Committed For Mental Evaluation

20 March, 2018, 04:56 | Author: Angel Logan
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Nikolas Cruz was formally arraigned last Wednesday on a 34-count indictment related to last month's mass shooting at a South Florida high school, for which the 19-year-old is now facing the death penalty. Had that recommendation been acted upon, it would have been nearly impossible for Cruz to legally buy the rifle he used to kill 17 people at the school, according to officials.

Students walk past one of seventeen crosses after a candlelight vigil for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The brother of the teen charged with killing 17 people at a Florida school was arrested Monday afternoon for trespassing at the same school, authorities said. Such a commitment would have made it more hard, if not impossible, for Cruz to have legally obtained a gun such as the AR-15 assault-style rifle used in the shooting.

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.

He was also placed under a mental-health evaluation and told investigators that when he heard about the shootings, he said, "I don't want to be alive".

An involuntary commitment for a mental health examination, as was recommended, could act as a complete barrier towards buying a gun.

Zachary Cruz was booked into the Broward Sheriff's Office jail and his bond was set at $25.

Investigators are still working to determine how Cruz was able to legally purchase an AR-15 rifle a year ago, despite numerous red flags. Clinicians had repeatedly concluded that the Baker Act would not justify committing Mr. Cruz because he denied having an intent or a plan to hurt himself or others.

Zachary Cruz was warned by school officials not to enter the school but "surpassed all locked doors and gates and proceeded to ride his skateboard through school grounds" and was arrested at 4:50 pm (2050 GMT), the report said.

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.

Cruz also admitted cutting his arm with a pencil sharpener.

It's not clear from the documents who the recommendation was forwarded to or why it was not followed up.

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