In a Saturday interview, the couple who took in Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz following his mother’s death in November said he was immature, quirky and depressed, but was pleasant and seemed to be getting happier.
“We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know,” Kimberly Snead told the South Florida Sun Sentinel in an exclusive interview. “We didn’t see this side of him.”
“Everything everybody seems to know, we didn’t know,” James Snead said. “It’s as simple as that.”
Cruz was living with the Sneads until Wednesday when he killed 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
After the shooting, the Sneads were taken to the Broward Sheriff’s headquarters. When Cruz was led into the building, handcuffed, wearing a hospital gown and surrounded by deputies, Kimberly yelled at him.
“Really, Nik? Really?” she cried.
“He said he was sorry. He apologized. He looked lost, absolutely lost,” said James. “And that was the last time we saw him.”
The Sun Sentinel reported:
The Sneads’ son had asked whether his friend could move into their home last Thanksgiving. Cruz’s mother, who had adopted him, died of pneumonia Nov. 1, leaving him without parents. He stayed briefly with a family friend in the Lantana area but wanted to move on. The Sneads quickly agreed — though they realized he was extremely depressed about his mother’s death.
Five days before the shooting, Kimberly Snead took Cruz to the office of a therapist she has been seeing. Cruz said he was open to therapy but didn’t like medication. He took a business card and was figuring out what his health insurance would cover.
James, 48, is a decorated army veteran and a military intelligence analyst who served stints in the Middle East between 1988 and 1996. Kimberly, 49, is a neonatal intensive care nurse who cares for premature and ill babies.
“I told him there’d be rules and he followed every rule to the T,” James said.