The younger brother of the teen accused of opening fire at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 people dead was taken from his home on Friday and sent to a mental health facility, according to a friend.
New York Post reports that a friend of Zachary Cruz, 17, said that the teen was taken from the home of family friend, Rocxanne Deschamps, who took Zachary and his older brother, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, in after their adoptive parents passed away last year. Both brothers lived in at Deschamps’ home until November, when the older Cruz was reportedly kicked out.
Deschamps wrote a comment on a now-deleted Facebook post that indicated she found a gun in Nikolas’ room in November. She wrote made him choose between staying at her home and getting rid of the gun or moving out. Apparently, according to Deschamps, the suspect chose his gun, the Palm Beach Post reports.
“He bought a gun and wanted to bring it into my house,” Deschamps reportedly wrote.
The younger Cruz, however, apparently still lived with Deschamps and was escorted out by Palm Beach police on Friday afternoon. According to the younger brother’s friend, Zachary Cruz was involuntarily committed and taken to the mental health facility under Florida’s Baker Act. Officials are legally allowed to hold him for up to 12 hours while he undergoes a psychiatric assessment.
It’s unclear if the younger Cruz was released from the facility.
Nikolas Cruz is currently behind bars without bail, accused of shooting and killing 17 people on Wednesday at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Nikolas Cruz/Police Handout]