PARKLAND — The sad saga of the Cruz family and their intersection with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School continues.
Zachary Cruz—half-brother of Nikolas Cruz (who was charged with 17 counts of murder for the February 14th mass shooting at the school)—was arrested for trespassing at Marjory Stoneman on Monday afternoon.
Zachary, 18, was caught on the school’s security cameras riding his skateboard on the school grounds at approximately 4:30 p.m., despite having been previously warned off by officials for the school.
When Broward County deputies approached the teen, he told them he visited the school to “reflect on the school shooting and to soak it in.”
The subsequent arrest report noted that Zachary “surpassed all locked doors and gates and proceeded to ride his skateboard through school grounds.”
Since the shooting, it’s become widely known that both Zachary and Nikolas were troubled. Their mother, Lynda Cruz, made 23 calls in 10 years to authorities over Nikolas’s behavior, and worked with therapists to rein in both children. It was at one particularly low point that she gave serious consideration to relinquishing her parental rights.
“I don’t think she would have done it,” a source close to the family stated. “She loved the boys more than anything in the world. She was just fed up with not getting anywhere, tired of how she was being treated and she was saying, ‘Why am I doing this to myself?’”
Lynda died of pneumonia in November of last year. The boys were taken in by family friend Roxanne Deschamps, with whom Zachary still lives.
The shooting appears to have hit Zachary hard. He commented to police earlier in March that he regretted bullying Nikolas, and he wept openly at his brother’s arraignment on Wednesday.
How his own court proceedings will transpire remains to be seen.