The couple who took in Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz have spoken out, claiming that they had no idea Cruz was a “monster” living under their own roof.
Cruz is accused of killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, using an AR-15 rifle he kept locked in a safe at the home of Kimberly and James Snead, parents of a friend who took the 19-year-old in after his adoptive mother died suddenly last year.
Speaking to the Sun Sentinel, the Sneads said that Cruz seemed depressed, but otherwise didn’t cause them any trouble.
“We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know,” Kimberly Snead said. “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.”
The couple also gave an interview to Good Morning America.
Kimberly said she noticed that Cruz seemed depressed about losing his mother, and took him to a therapist five days before the shooting. She said that while he didn’t want to be medicated, he was open to therapy and was figuring out if his insurance was covering it.
Both the Sneads knew that Cruz owned weapons, and they kept their own weapons locked in a cabinet in the home. James Snead told the newspaper that he had insisted Cruz keep his weapons locked in a safe in his room, and that Cruz was responsible for purchasing the safe himself. In addition to the AR-15, James Snead said Cruz had two additional rifles, knives, and a BB gun.
The Sneads told the newspaper that they had insisted Cruz ask for permission to use the weapons, and that he had only asked twice since he moved in in late November. They granted him permission once, but denied him permission a second time.
James Snead said he believed only he had a key to the safe, but in light of Wednesday’s events has presumed that Cruz kept one as well.
He also said that Cruz had been obedient during his stay.
“I told him there’d be rules and he followed every rule to the T,” James Snead said.
Still, Cruz didn’t know how to do basic tasks like cooking and laundry, and the Sneads were working to help him gain self-sufficiency, and had enrolled him in adult education classes, which he attended daily in addition to going to his job at the Dollar Tree. He didn’t drive so the Sneads drove him to class, and he rode his bike to work.
But on the day of the shooting, Cruz said he wasn’t going to school.
“It’s Valentine’s Day and I don’t go to school on Valentine’s Day,” he reportedly said.
But later that day, he took an Uber to the high school, AR-15 in tow, and texted the Snead’s son before he entered the school and opened fire.
Cruz reportedly asked the boy what classroom he was in, and then said he was going to a movie.
Cruz later said he had something important to tell him, but followed up with a dismissal.
“Nothing man,” Cruz said in a text.
The Sneads’ son was not injured in the shooting.
While they were waiting at the Broward County sheriff’s office to be reunited with their son, the couple saw Cruz as he was escorted in.
James Snead told the newspaper that his wife tried to run at Cruz but that he held her back.“He said he was sorry.
“He apologized,” James said.
“He looked lost, absolutely lost … and that was the last time we saw him.”
[Feature image: Kimberly and James Snead/ABC video screenshot]