Even more details have emerged about warnings officials received regarding Florida gunman Nikolas Cruz and the likelihood that he would become a school shooter – warnings that were consistently ignored.
According to a new report published Friday afternoon by USA Today, the Broward County Sheriff’s Department received a total of 18 calls from concerned people close to Cruz. Some of these warnings were even passed on to the deputy at Stoneman Douglas High School, Scot Peterson – the deputy who stayed outside the school and did nothing to stop Cruz while he went on a shooting rampage on Feb. 14, slaughtering 17 people.
After one concerned call came in to the Sheriff’s department in February 2016, a dispatcher note was passed on to Peterson that included the statement: “Third hand information received from neighbor’s son that Nikolas Cruz planned to shoot up the school on Instagram (Picture of juvenile with guns).”
The warnings, made by concerned people close to Cruz, came in phone calls to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, records show. At least five callers mentioned concern over his access to weapons, according to the documents. None of those warnings led to direct intervention.
In February 2016, neighbors told police that they were worried he “planned to shoot up the school” after seeing alarming pictures on Instagram showing Cruz brandishing guns.
About two months later, an unidentified caller told police that Cruz had been collecting guns and knives. The caller was “concerned (Cruz) will kill himself one day and believes he could be a school shooter in the making,” according to call details released by the Sheriff’s Office.
A second cousin asked police to take away Cruz’s guns after his mom died Nov. 1. “Nikolas is reported to have rifles and it is requested that (deputies) recover these weapons,” the dispatcher noted from the call.
Cruz’s mother reportedly called police in 2012 and said he had hit her with a plastic vacuum cleaner hose.
The next year, she called in again to report that Cruz had thrown her against the wall after she took his Xbox game system away from her.
“Deputy responded. No crime identified by deputy,” the dispatcher noted.