WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- In 2016, school officials and Ex-Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson had recommended accused Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz be involuntarily committed for a mental evaluation.
- Documents in the criminal case against 19-year-old Cruz obtained by the Associated Press show that information, but it was never acted upon.
- Peterson is the deputy who resigned from the sheriff’s department amid accusations that he failed to respond by just standing outside the building when Cruz fatally shot 17 people on Feb. 14.
Two counselors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Peterson recommended in September 2016 that Nikolas Cruz should forcibly undergo a mental health evaluation under Florida’s Baker Act.
If Cruz had been committed, it would be almost impossible for him to purchase a gun legally.
Henderson Behavioral Health provided the documents but it does not say why Cruz was never committed. Under the Baker Act, Peterson had the authority to initiate commitment.
The documents also show that Cruz told his classmate about his wishes to purchase a firearm and use it. He also wrote “kill” in his notebook and cut his arm with a pencil sharpener out of anger when his girlfriend broke up with him.
Lynda Cruz, Nikolas’ adoptive mother, initiated the psychological assessment service. She expressed her worries about her son’s mental state in the documents. She noted that he punched holes in the walls of their home in Parkland due to his failed relationship. Lynda passed away in November 2017.
The FBI was also blamed for failing to follow-up on tips suggesting Cruz was potentially planning a school shooting.
The documents did not clearly state who the recommendation was forwarded to or why there was no follow-up.
Cruz has been charged in a 34-count indictment of premeditated murder and attempted murder. He faces the death penalty if convicted. Public defender Melisa McNeill said Cruz would plead guilty in return for a life prison sentence.
Source: Daily Mail