Published: Mon, February 19, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Nikolas Cruz: Family who took him in on 'Good Morning America'

Nikolas Cruz: Family who took him in on 'Good Morning America'

According to a report by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the caretakers for the 19-year-old who walked into Marjory Stonemen Douglas High School armed with an AR-15 rifle and killed 17 people said that although he was immature and depressed when they let him into their home, he seemed to be growing happier. The Sneads said they do not know if Cruz knew any of the victims and are not sure why he did it.

Investigators continue to search for answers as new surveillance video of suspected Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz was released of him walking to a McDonalds after the high school shooting.

But James maintains he insisted that Cruz be safe about the guns and keep them in a locked cabinet.

James, 48, a decorated army veteran and military intelligence analyst who served in the Middle East, said he didn't mind that Cruz had guns because he had plenty of weapons himself.

Cruz thought the family friend in Lantana was stealing money from him but the Sneads suspect she was innocent and he was just a victim of common identity theft.

The couple told the local newspaper in a sit-down interview they knew Cruz had been "extremely depressed" after the death of his last living guardian, Lynda.

The Sneads have said that Cruz's late mother seemed to have pampered and indulged him, and that he didn't know how to cook, use a microwave, do his own laundry or pick up after himself.

The parents reportedly asked Cruz if he needed a ride to school the morning of February 14, when he declined and said he didn't even need to go. "He wasn't dumb, just naïve", James said.

The Sneads knew Cruz had an Instagram account - their son followed Cruz on it - but have since realized that Cruz had a much wider, more troubling presence on social media, in which he apparently posted about guns and about being cruel toward animals.

They told Cruz living with them would require following strict rules.

The Sneads had raised their own three boys and jokingly called the process of teaching Cruz "Adulting 101".

They said they forced him to enlist in adult education classes and personally drove to him there because he didn't have a vehicle, only a bicycle.

On the day of the shooting, Cruz said he didn't need a lift to school. Cruz had a steak and cheese sandwich for dinner and went to bed at 8pm.

The Sneads recalled receiving the "panic-stricken" phone call from Cruz around 2:30pm that day.

The family, who had pets in their home, claimed there were no signs of animal cruelty, despite several claims by neighbours who revealed disturbing details about Cruz's treatment of animals.

While at the office, they saw Cruz led into the building in handcuffs and Ms Snead tried to run at him but her husband held her back.

"He said he was sorry".

In a panic, Kimberly then told Cruz: "Really, Nik?" "He apologised. He looked lost, absolutely lost".

Cameron Kasky, a junior at the school, said the March 24 march will provide a time to talk about gun control, saying "we are losing our lives while the adults are playing around".

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