New Details About Parkland Shooter's Past Reveal How He Was Bullied By His Younger Brother And Watched His Father Die

Photo: Getty Images
New Details About The Parkland Shooter's Past Reveal That He Was Bullied And Watched His Dad Die
Entertainment And News

Nikolas Cruz was just 5 when his father died of a heart attack.

Nikolas Cruz lived a life all too common to that of other mass shooters and murderers.

The suspected Parkland shooter, who admitted to shooting 33 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, was an outcast obsessed with guns and death.

“He always stared at everyone,” Tyra Hemans, a senior who sat across from Cruz in class, said. “He would stare into your soul.”

The suspected shooter lived a troubled life, riddled with death and disorders. He showed many signs of a school shooter early on, some of which were reported but brushed to the side.

When he was a young child, he witnessed his father’s death.   

A friend of the family who wished to remain anonymous told the Sun Sentinel that Cruz was in the den with his father when he suffered a heart attack.

The friend recalled Cruz’s mother was unaware of her husband’s death until Nikolas came out of the den crying.

“Nikolas came down the hallway and he went to his room, and he was crying. She said, ‘What’s the matter, did Daddy punish you?’ Just as clear as day, he said, ‘Nope. Daddy’s dead,’” the friend remembered.

Cruz was only 5 years old.

RELATED: Awful New Details About The Conspiracy Theories Targeting Parkland Shooting Victims And Why People Think They're 'Crisis Actors'

His mother, whom he loved dearly, had recently passed away in November and sent him into a depression.

“She was his best friend,” said the unnamed family friend.

Records show that he had been diagnosed with a handful of disorders from a young age.

Cruz was diagnosed with developmental delays when he was 3, witnessed his father’s death as a 5-year-old, and later depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, emotional behavioral disability, and autism were added to the list of conditions, records from the state Department of Children and Families show.

His mother had also told deputies Cruz had anger issues and obsessive-compulsion disorder, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Friends of the family said that though Cruz was still learning basic household chores as a teenager, he was his mother’s favorite.

Zachary, Cruz’s brother, said that he “wishes that he had been ‘nicer’ to his brother” and that there was some bitterness between the two “as Nikolas may have been the favored brother,” a Palm Beach County Sheriff wrote in a report last week.

According to Zachary, who was also adopted, “he and his friends, when they were younger, had bullied Nikolas, which he now regrets ever doing,” the report says.

Cruz wasn’t just bullied by his brother. He was picked on and bullied by peers but was also a bully to others.

He drew hate signs on his backpack and used racial slurs toward other students, which got him “punched numerous times,” the Sun Sentinel reports.

RELATED: New Details About The Warning Call Made To DCF About Nikolas Cruz Harming Himself On Snapchat And Needing Help Before The School Shooting

He had also been seen with a dead bird in class, one student said.

“I looked close and I saw he was holding a dead bird near his genitalia,” Hemans told the Sun Sentinel. “I saw some feathers and I knew it was a bird. That was disturbing. But I just looked away because it wasn’t my business.”

Hemans, whose best friend Meadow Pollack was killed by Cruz, said she kept it to herself and never reported the incident.

“I was taught not to judge anyone one,” she continued. “But he was a little off.”

Police records show this was not an isolated incident. Cops were called to Cruz’s residence because of his behavior over 30 times since 2011.

"Police were there almost every other week," a previous neighbor, Brody Speno, said, according to CNN. Sheriff’s office reports illustrate a violent kid.

Deputies responded to many calls made by Cruz’s mother and neighbors of his uncontrollable outbursts, some of which were violent.

One time his mother called the police to say Cruz was hitting her with the plastic hose of a vacuum cleaner. Another time neighbors reported Cruz, 16 at the time, was shooting chickens with an airsoft gun.

A neighbor recalled Cruz torturing animals over the years and said he "cornered a squirrel and was trying to throw rocks at it and kill it."

Along with being on local law enforcement’s radar, Cruz had many issues at school. He was disciplined for using profanity toward teachers, fights, and unruly behavior.

"It was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter," Cruz’s former classmate Emma Gonzalez said in a speech.

RELATED: New Details Emerge About The Victims Of The Florida School Shooting — Including The Heroic High School Coach Who Acted As A Human Shield To Save Students