Zachary Cruz appeared in court Tuesday, where a Broward County judge raised his bond from just $25 to $500,000 (see video below). Cruz was arrested Monday for trespassing on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland after he was told to stay away from the area, and his behavior since the shooting is causing concern.
Zachary is the brother of Nikolas Cruz, the gunman who admitted to shooting at the high school on Feb. 14, killing 17 people.
CBS Local reports: According to the arrest report, Zachary Cruz, 18, told deputies that he went to the campus to “reflect on the school shooting and soak it in.”
But according to prosecutor Sarahnell Murphy, Zachary Cruz has trespassed three times at the school since the shooting and was told by the vice principal not to return.
Murphy said Zachary Cruz has also had disturbing conversations with his brother, discussing how “popular” his brother now was, how his face is well-known across the country and discussing the possibility of starting a fan club for Nikolas Cruz.
The prosecutor said Zachary Cruz also has a prior criminal history from 2016 for charges of grand theft, petty theft and criminal mischief.
The report continues: Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie called Zachary Cruz’s actions odd, and said, “I understand it does creep people out.”
After the shooting, people close to Zachary Cruz said he wanted to harm himself, and he underwent a mental health evaluation. Zachary Cruz has denied that he wanted to harm himself.
According to investigators from Palm Beach and Broward counties, Zachary Cruz told authorities that he and his friends had bullied his older brother, something he now regrets.
Parkland families are on edge, some keeping their children home from school Tuesday after the trespassing incidents.
Also Tuesday, three students were removed from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after two were found to have weapons on campus and one posted threatening messages on social media. The two students with weapons were arrested, and the third student was hospitalized.