The younger half-brother of Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz has seemingly broken his silence, less than two weeks after his brother carried out a brutal attack that left 17 people dead at a high school in Parkland, Fla.
A person identifying himself as Zachary Cruz shared a public status to his Facebook page Saturday, Feb 24., thanking family and friends for their support and posting a new profile picture of the two boys when they were children.
“Appreciate all the positive messages,” Cruz wrote, accompanied by a few heart emojis.
The status has garnered only a few hundred reactions with some users leaving messages of love, support and even prayers for Cruz’s family. On Feb. 14, Nikolas Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School armed with an AR 15-style rifle and opened fire, killing 17. The 19-year-old has since been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
As for Zachary, he was involuntarily committed to a mental facility just days after the shooting. It appears that he has since been released.
“I don’t know you – I want you to know that there are people that do understand how tragic this is all for ALL the families involved, including you and Nikolas,” one person wrote. “‘The system’ (educators, CPS, law enforcement) had ample opportunity to help him, [but] none did.”
Another young woman wished she could have been in a relationship with the gunman prior to the massacre.
“Honestly if I wasn’t in a relationship and I knew nik before all this happened I would’ve loved to been his girlfriend to help him grow, to show him that there’s so much to life, and he’s so young with so many amazing things waiting to happen.” Others chimed in to agree with her comment.
“God Bless you and brother,” one user commented. “They failed him and failed him big. All of them failed him.”
Despite numerous reports of Nikolas Cruz’s violent outbursts, his obsession with guns and his racist views toward Blacks and other minorities, most in the comment section appear to believe society is to blame for his behavior.
Another wrote: “Everyone knew your brother had a problem and that he was bullied nobody helped him. He kept screaming for help. It wasent [wasn’t] his fault for doing this it was society who made him do this and people who bullied him i say this because kids bullied me when i was 11 and i will cry on the bus and told my mom i wanted to kill myself…..People hurt people without even knowing and then they complain why this happend [happened]?”
So far, no one has responded to any of the well wishes left under Cruz’s status over the weekend. No local teens, many of whom likely attended the school where Nikolas Cruz committed the massacre, appear to have commented on the post, either.
The New York Post reported that Zachary, 16, and Nikolas were adopted as infants by local couple by Lynda and Roger Cruz. A few short years later, however, Roger Cruz died from a heart condition in 2004 while the boys’ mother, Lynda succumbed to flu-related pneumonia just last year. The siblings were then left in the care of family friend Roxanne Deschamps, according to the newspaper.
Deschamps has since petitioned the court to administer Lynda Cruz’s estate. If approved by a judge, she’d be responsible for helping to discover any assets, paying unsettled debts and distributing money to the heirs, the Sun Sentinel reported.