PARKLAND (CBSMiami) — Less than 2 weeks after Governor Rick Scott signed a major school safety bill based on the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school, an important element of that law is now being used against the confessed shooter’s brother, Zachary Cruz.
While Zachary Cruz stood before a criminal court judge on Tuesday on a misdemeanor trespassing charge, the Broward Sheriff’s Office was busy filing a petition in civil court trying to prevent Zachary Cruz from getting his hands on a gun.
The document, known as a Risk Protection Order, lays out more specifics about Zachary’s actions on Monday, when he was arrested for trespassing on the Stoneman Douglas campus — the same school where his brother Nikolas Cruz is accused of carrying out a murderous rampage on Valentine’s Day.
In the petition, BSO says Cruz visited the school twice that day and “…walked around freshman building.” The Freshman Building is where Nikolas Cruz is accused of murdering 17 people and wounding more than a dozen more.
Investigators say Cruz told them he wanted to reflect on the shooting and take it all in.
The petition says Cruz admitted he’s visited the campus three times since the deadly shooting but BSO says “(Cruz) has no reason to be on school property and after being warned that he is not allowed on campus, he has returned multiple times since the shooting.”
The Sheriff’s Office doesn’t want Cruz to get a firearm. Their attorneys wrote, “There is reason to believe (Cruz) has a mental health illness; is a danger to himself” and that “(Cruz) poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or others by having a firearm or any ammunition in his custody or control or by potentially purchasing, possessing or receiving a firearm or any ammunition.”
The petition says Cruz has shown, “a pattern of violent and combative behavior over the past 6 years.” Information released by BSO shows at least 23 calls for service to the Cruz home for Nikolas and Zachary Cruz dating back to 2008. The calls for Zachary related to domestic disturbance calls for hitting things…leaving home and causing trouble for his mother.
In the petition, there is no mention that Zachary Cruz intended to commit violence against the school or had a weapon on him. BSO is asking a judge to prohibit Zachary Cruz from getting a gun for at least 1 year.
Zachary Cruz attended Stoneman Douglas High until last November. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s received a 911 call regarding Zachary from a school social worker after his mother passed away late last year. The social worker was concerned that Zachary had stopped coming to school.
“We’re concerned about his welfare and that things are happening the way they need to for this young man,” the unidentified social worker told the 911 dispatcher. “He needs to be in school.”
It isn’t entirely clear but it doesn’t appear that Cruz returned to classes at Stoneman Douglas.