The family that took in suspected Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass murderer Nikolas Cruz is sounding off about the tragedy – as details begin to emerge about his background and what officials may have known.
In an interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Kimberly and James Snead, who opened their home to the 19-year-old after his mother died, were quoted as saying “we had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know...we didn’t see this side of him.”
“What James and Kimberly told me was they have taken in stray animals they have taken in people that they thought had hit hard times and Nick, as they called him, was one of those people,” said reporter Paula McMahon. “They thought they were doing a good deed they wanted to get him back on track.”
The article published Saturday talked about how the defendant was friendly with the Snead’s son, who asked them to house the suspect that was depressed, they say, after he lost his mother to pneumonia.
James Snead said “everything everybody seems to know, we didn’t know… It’s as simple as that” on reports Cruz was a loner, exhibited odd behavior and had violent tendencies.
“They just struck me as if they were still in shock,” McMahon said. “They said that they just haven’t really processed it yet, that they have very, very mixed emotions. They’re having a hard time coming to terms with the person they thought they knew and the person who did this tragic terrible act.”
A report from the Department of Children and Families says Nikolas Cruz’s adoptive mother said he suffers from Autism and ADD. The document also noted an investigation on him closed on Nov. 12, 2016.
The report said Cruz was on Snapchat cutting both of his arms. One counselor noted she was “concerned” about Cruz wanting to purchase a gun and “feeling depressed.”
A second counselor observed how his mother, who died in November, has always been an “attentive mom and followed through with care needs” while noting a counselor’s concern to ensure that a psychiatric assessment of the defendant was not premature.