After being warned to stay away from the site of his older brother’s alleged mass murder spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, teenager Zachary Cruz was arrested on Monday for trespassing at the school in Parkland, Florida.
Zachary is accused of entering the school grounds on his skateboard, and according to police, “surpassed all locked doors and gates and proceeded to ride his skateboard through school grounds.” Security cameras recorded the incident.
“It wasn’t some breach of security,” said Robert Runcie, Broward Schools superintendent. “He came through whatever gate was open at the time. … it’s kind of odd, and I understand it does creep people out.”
The younger Cruz was booked by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office with a bond set at $25.
According to the teenager, he had returned to the site where his brother, Nikolas Cruz, reportedly murdered 17 people and injured others in order to “reflect on the school shooting and to soak it in.”
Melisa McNeill, defense attorney for Nikolas Cruz, entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Nikolas, but made it clear that the defendant would be willing to plead guilty “at any time in exchange for a waiver of the death sentence.” Police said he has admitted to the killings.
In the aftermath of the murders, Zachary, who is 18 years old, underwent a mental health evaluation after reportedly saying he didn’t “want to be alive,” and reiterated “I don’t want to deal with this stuff,” referring to his brother’s alleged actions.
Later, the teen insisted he was fine.
Nikolas and Zachary Cruz are half brothers, adopted and raised by Lynda and Roger Cruz from the time they were children. Lynda died from pneumonia in November, and Roger passed away 10 years ago. At the time of the murders at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the boys were living with different caretakers.
One of their former caretakers, Roxanne Deschamps, has filed a petition to administer Lynda’s estate, which is speculated by others to be around $800,000. Zachary is reportedly still living with Deschamps, and has no ties to Broward County.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies say that Zachary told them “he and his friends, when they were younger, had bullied Nikolas, which now he regrets ever doing.”
During the arraignment for Nikolas Cruz, a tear slid down Zachary’s cheek, according to The Daily Mail.