As students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School prepare for their first full week of classes following a massacre that left 17 students and faculty members dead, one area park has taken action remove the alleged gunman’s name from its playground area.
According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the name Nikolas J. Cruz has been displayed alongside other locals on items surrounding Liberty Park in Parkland.
The park, which opened in 2000, sold various engraved items as it raised funds for the playground. Among those items was a fence that bore the suspected murderer’s name.
Lydia Cruz reportedly purchased an engraved slat for her two sons, Nikolas and Zachary.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 18-year-old Zachary Cruz, the suspected gunmans’ younger brother, was admitted to a mental health facility after the deadly shooting.
Zachary Cruz later acknowledged treating his older brother cruelly during their childhood years.
Todd DeAngelis, a spokesperson for the city of Parkland, said that removing his name and replacing it with a plain plank of wood “seemed the only logical course of action” in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting.
The city reportedly first became aware that Cruz’s name was on the slat after a previous article by the Sun Sentinel.
In short order, city staff had removed the board, though Zachary Cruz’s name remained.
Reporters spoke to locals including bicyclist Ken Shack, who expressed approval of the decision to take down the suspect’s name from the community park.
“It should come down,” he said.
[Featured image: Liberty Park/Youtube screenshot]