FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Department of Children and Families will release documents in their investigation of Nikolas Cruz – the confessed gunman who police say opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 people.
The judge ruled DCF can release the 19-page report along with a 3 page summary on an investigation opened in Sep. 2016 and closed in Nov. 2016.
The documents help give a glimpse into Cruz’s life, referring to him as a ‘vulnerable adult’ suffering from ADHD, depression and autism.
The documents do say he was medicated for all those things at the time.
Click here to access the documents on the DCF website, which were released Monday evening.
They detail a call that came into DCF in September of 2016.
The caller saying Cruz, “was on Snapchat cutting both of his arms” and that “he plans to go out and buy a gun. It is unknown what he is buying the gun for.”
The complaint went on to say Cruz had racial slurs written on his backpack.
Cruz’s mother explained to investigators that her adopted son suffered from ADHD and Autism. She stated that he is on medication for the ADHD.
She explained he was getting counseling and the latest “behavior is surrounding a breakup with a girl who was cheating” on him.
The investigator spoke to numerous counselors and determined Cruz was not a threat to himself or anyone else.
In November 2016 the case was closed.
“No, DCF did not drop the ball,” said Paige Patterson-Hughes with DCF. “We had an investigation in 2016. That was well before this tragedy occurred.”
It’s believed the DCF documents released today will be part of the defense for Cruz.
His public defender has publicly said they want Cruz to plead guilty and for the death penalty to be off the table.
Cruz himself appeared in court for a hearing earlier Monday on whether certain documents in his case should be considered confidential or what is called under seal.
Shackled and flanked by at least 3 deputies, Cruz walked in and sat down with his head down the whole time.
While Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer had argued against placing some of the documents in his case under seal Monday morning, by 1 p.m. her decision had changed based on a previous order filed by a magistrate judge on the matter.
“Defense was entitled to what they were asking for,” said Scherer.
It was a topic that caused a tense nine minutes earlier in the day as the same judge took up the issue.
“I’ve had an opportunity to review the motion and the pleading and I don’t feel that these are appropriate, the type of motions that is appropriate to be ordered under seal or confidential,” said Judge Scherer during the morning hearing. “I do intend to make the pleadings available to the state unless you can give me some type of legal reason.”
Defense argued they have a right to ask for certain info to be confidential.
“We have a right to have access to our client and to collect any information that we need from him that may be relevant to our defense,” said Defense Attorney Melissa McNeil.
While the judge did not disagree on that front, she did not agree with making all the documents confidential saying, she did not “believe there is any legal authority that supports sealing” the documents.
“The state has a right to have notice and to be present,” said Judge Scherer. “I don’t see anything in the law that justifies having an in camera, closed door ex-parte hearing.”
The issue of Cruz’s presence was also on the table Monday morning.
“No, we are not waiving the defendant’s presence for that hearing,” said prosecutors.
“Judge, I do not believe it is necessary for Nikolas Cruz to be present for that hearing. It is not a material stage in this proceeding and the defense is requesting that his presence be waived,” said McNeil. “The only thing that his presence will provide for anybody else in this court is an opportunity for the media to have a circus with him.”
Despite the argument, Cruz did appear at a 1 p.m. hearing.