A young man was arrested for trespassing on the grounds of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High, the school where, on February 14, gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire and killed 17 people. Adding further controversy to the incident, the trespasser was Cruz's younger brother, 18-year-old Zachary Cruz. Though he doesn't attend the school, Cruz told authorities he visited the site to "reflect on the school shooting and to soak it in."
The Broward County Sheriff's Office arrested Nikolas Cruz's younger brother, Zachary, 18, for trespassing today at… https://t.co/068xsXCWkb— Patricia Mazzei (@Patricia Mazzei) 1521502070.0
Regardless of who the trespasser was, many are concerned about the apparent lack of security at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High.
Zachary Cruz "surpassed all locked doors and gates and proceeded to ride his skateboard through school grounds." A… https://t.co/W1rMeBKCRA— NBC 6 South Florida (@NBC 6 South Florida) 1521503768.0
#IWillMarch so where's the outrage on the school still not protected from trespassers what if he would have brought… https://t.co/IFlU06KCvA— . (@.) 1521515549.0
Cruz was found on school ground around 4:30pm, after students had been dismissed for the day. He was observed by 4 campus security guards on the school's closed circuit TV cameras, and quickly apprehended.
Some parents were understandably on edge when they heard about another trespasser on their child's campus, however. In an email, Dr. John Crescitelli, whose daughter attends MSDH, was fuming:
I just read the reports regarding Zachary Cruz just cruising onto the campus riding his skate board to "reflect on the shootings and soak it in." ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! I want answers ASAP. This may just have been a simple act of trespassing, but I want to know how long he was on campus and were all of his actions recorded?
Crescietelli happens to be the same parent and gun-owner who wrote an Op-Ed for the Miami Herald calling for stricter gun-control. In the article, he wrote:
I own a gun for self-defense. But no one needs a military-style semi-automatic assault rifle like the AR-15 used in the Parkland attack. These guns are widely popular because they've been glorified on television shows, YouTube videos and violent video games. Many "normal" Americans are proud gun-rights advocates and closet AR-15 owners. They really enjoy shooting these weapons in a safe, controlled environment such as a gun range. They are not sick or deranged. They have never shown any aggressive tendencies that would suggest a capacity to harm another human being.
But it still doesn't mean they or anyone else should own one. Easy access to these weapons not only endangers the lives of the public but also poses a real threat to law enforcement.
The shooting in Parkland is seen as the birth of the #NeverAgain movement, led by students from MSDH, which is urging lawmakers to enact stricter gun control measures in the U.S.
Before anyone jumped to conclusions, people on Twitter made sure Zachary wasn't judged for his brother's crimes.
“Folks are reacting to it because it’s the shooter’s brother,’ said Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie https://t.co/S2wJt66ijb— Miami Herald (@Miami Herald) 1521509369.0
Zachary Cruz, the brother of Parkland shooter IS NOT the Parkland shooter. Don’t punish him for his brother’s sins.… https://t.co/GEKN0YEJZ0— Gerren Peterson (@Gerren Peterson) 1521542772.0
Zachary, like his older brother, used to attend Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High, but is held in a far different regard than Nikolas. While Nikolas was often described as "depressed, obsessed with firearms, and ostracized by peers," Zachary was more often thought of as "nice, quiet, and a talented skateboarder."
The pair were brothers through adoption, after being taken in by a Parkland couple, Lynda and Roger Cruz. Roger passed away in 2004, and Lynda was overcome by a respiratory illness this past November, 2017, leaving the two boys in the care of a former neighbor, Roxanne Deschamps. Though Zachary still lives with Deschamps, Nikolas stopped living in the home after a heated fight over his possession of guns.
Fortunately, it seems Zachary Cruz was given a minor sentence for a minor crime.
Zachary Cruz should be getting out of jail this morning. His bond is only $25 for the trespassing charge @WPLGLocal10— Erica Rakow (@Erica Rakow) 1521537137.0