Group chat messages show school shooter obsessed with race, violence and guns

by Wade Massey February 22, 2018, 0:34
Group chat messages show school shooter obsessed with race, violence and guns

"Last week, our state and nation was shocked to learn of the FBI's inexcusable inaction after receiving a tip informing them of Cruz's desire to carry out a school shooting", Scott said.

"Everything everybody seems to know we didn't know", James Snead told ABC News' Good Morning America.

While Cruz was briefly staying at the home of a longtime family friend after his adoptive mother died, he went to live with the Sneads at Thanksgiving because their son was a friend of his.

Another tip, passed along to the Federal Bureau of Investigation a year ago, spotlighted an online comment posted by a "Nikolas Cruz" saying "Im going to be a professional school shooter".

But he was eventually deemed a low risk and later passed a background check, allowing him in February 2017 to buy the AR-15 rifle used in the massacre. Police and former classmates said that Cruz was a troubled former student who loved guns and was expelled for disciplinary reasons.

She told investigators at the time that her son did not own a gun, beyond an air gun that she had taken away when he "didn't follow house rules about only shooting it within the backyard at the targets".

He had asked only twice since November.

The rally in downtown Fort Lauderdale gave a political outlet to the growing feelings of rage and mourning sparked by the carnage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

He later met with members of the Broward County Sheriff's office and local law enforcement, including Coconut Creek Police Officer Mike Leonard, who said he was the one who apprehended Cruz.

Student Victoria Olvera, 17, said that Cruz had been abusive to his ex-girlfriend and that his expulsion was over a fight with her new boyfriend.

Sheriff Israel said earlier Cruz may have been enrolled at Taravella High School in Coral Springs after his expulsion but the sheriff did not know if Cruz still attended Taravella. "He wasn't dumb, just naive", James Snead told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Authorities have not described any specific motive, except to say that Cruz had been kicked out of the high school, which has about 3,000 students and serves an affluent suburb where the median home price is almost $600,000.

Cruz reportedly showed an obsession with violence, as well as racist and anti-Semitic beliefs in a private Instagram group chat.

But the Sneads added that they were struck by some of Cruz's mannerisms, including his apparent inability to care for himself.

"It's a roller coaster of emotions", James Snead said of the mass shooting aftermath.

"This is an opportunity to put the criminal case behind and help the victims' families begin to try and pick up pieces of their lives for our community to heal and to figure out how we stop these things from ever happening again", said Finkelstein.

Some incident reports, as recent as September 2016, describe the shooter as suffering from mental illness and being "emotionally handicapped".

"So if Rick Scott is going to apply that cynical standard to all public officials, then I guess Rick Scott needs to resign at once", Scarborough said.

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