Suspected Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz blamed the violent massacre on the voice of a demon who told him to buy an AR-15 and take an Uber to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where Cruz allegedly killed 17 people and injured 17 more.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the Broward County Sheriff’s Department released the transcript of Cruz’s interrogation after his arrest on February 14, during which he reportedly confessed to the massacre, and also expressed suicidal tendencies.
Cruz reportedly said he frequently heard from the demon, including the night before the deadly shooting and the year before, when he purchased the AR-15.
The suspect said that he sometimes used marijuana or Xanax to silence the voice.
When a detective asked Cruz what the demon ordered him to do, Cruz said: “Burn. Kill. Destroy.”
The detective reportedly challenged Cruz on his claims, pointing out that he didn’t take measures to stop the demon as he said he had done before.
“You could have stopped the demon by getting a prescription for marijuana. You could have stopped the demon by getting a prescription for Xanax. You could have stopped the demon any time you want. You didn’t want to stop the demon.”
In response, Cruz reportedly said to the detective, “I don’t like the demon,” over and over.
And when the detective left the room, Cruz reportedly continued talking to himself, repeating the question, “Why didn’t he kill me?”
Cruz had told the detective during the interrogation that he had repeatedly attempted suicide by overdosing on alcohol and over-the-counter drugs in the months before the shooting.
Last week, the Sun-Sentinel released a report about Cruz’s time in the general population at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which found that Cruz had requested to be placed in a special education school, but that school officials “did not follow through.”
Months prior, Cruz had reportedly been flagged by school officials who believed he should be committed. In a meeting with Cruz to discuss his options, the shooting suspect was reportedly told that he could transfer to another special education school, stay at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in the general population without access to special education resources, or sue the Broward school district. According to the report obtained by the Daily Beast, Cruz was not made aware of a fourth option: That he could remain enrolled at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and receive special assistance.
He chose to remain at the high school as a “regular student,” without access to counseling services.
Later, Cruz changed his mind and asked if he could be transferred to Cross Creek. His request was not honored, for reasons that are not clear.
Three days after he was forced to withdraw from the school because of his failing grades, Cruz purchased the AR-15 he used in the deadly mass shooting on February 14.
The report, compiled by a consultant hired by the Broward school district, also showed that Cruz had exhibited troubling behavior as early as age three, when he was kicked out of pre-K program, having shown aggressive behavior, and had been classified as needing special education because of apparent developmental delays.
School records accessed for the report said, “It must be noted that in particular, [the student] seems to identify as an animal,” and stated that Cruz often engaged in unpredictable animal-like behaviors such as growling, crawling on the floor, and pouncing on fellow students.
On Monday, the Broward County School Board asked a judge to hold the Sun Sentinel, along with two of its reporters, in contempt of court, in response to their story on the report about Cruz.
According to the newspaper, the school district alleged that the Sun-Sentinel published information from the report that had been ordered to be redacted by a judge.
Indeed, the school district did release a report that was heavily redacted, but all of the blacked-out text in the report became visible once it was copied and pasted into a Word document. The reporters discovered the glitch after a tip from a Facebook user.
“They opted to report, publicly, information that this court had ordered to be redacted despite agreeing, on the record, that this information was protected by both Florida and federal law,” said the school district wrote in the court filing.
But Sun-Sentinel Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson argued that information about the events leading up to the mass shooting are of “the utmost importance to our community.”
A hearing has not yet been scheduled.
[Feature image: Taimy Alvarez/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool]