The younger brother of Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz was arrested Monday for trespassing on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a source confirmed to CNN.
Zachary Cruz, 18, said he wanted to “reflect on the school shooting and soak it in,” according to a complaint affidavit. He has since posted bond and been released.
Zachary has been living in a mobile home in suburban Palm Beach County with Rocxanne Deschamps since the boys’ adopted mother, Lynda Cruz, died in November.
According to court documents from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office, Zachary spoke with an officer February 16, two days after the shooting. He said he told Deschamps on the night of the shooting that he didn’t “want to be alive.”
“I don’t want to deal with this stuff,” Zachary recalled saying.
He said he felt some responsibility for the shooting, according to court documents, and that he felt he could have possibly prevented the tragedy. Zachary said that when he was younger, he and his friends bullied Nikolas, and that he regretted it and wished he had been “nicer” to him.
Zachary Cruz told the officer he didn’t understand why his brother shot and killed 17 people February 14, in one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern US history.
Nikolas Cruz is being held without bond at the Broward County Jail, where he’s segregated from other inmates.
A judge entered a plea of not guilty on Cruz’s behalf as the teen was arraigned March 14.
Prosecutors announced in court filings March 13 that they will seek the death penalty against Nikolas Cruz. They listed several factors, including that he knowingly created a risk of death for many people and that the shooting was “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.”
A Broward County grand jury indicted Cruz March 7 on 17 counts of premeditated murder in the first degree and 17 counts of attempted murder in the first degree. Zachary Cruz was present during his arraignment, where he was seen wiping away tears.