A Florida couple, who took in Nikolas Cruz late last year, opened up about living with the teen and claimed that they didn’t see any sign of the danger he posed.
Speaking with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Kimberly, 49, and James Snead, 48, revealed that they were left stunned after the 19-year-old boy they took in committed a deadly attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The distraught couple agreed to be foster parents to Cruz and allowed him to live with them after their son, who happens to be friends with him, asked if he could stay with them.
According to the outlet, the Snead family welcomed Cruz with open arms just days after his adoptive mother, Lynda, passed away from pneumonia. The couple claimed that the teenage gunman was “extremely depressed” after Lynda’s death.
They also noticed that Cruz’s late mother seemed to have spoiled him and that he didn’t know how to cook, use a microwave, do his own laundry, or pick up after himself. The couple even pointed out some of his unusual eating habits, such as putting cookies inside steak and cheese sandwiches.
However, Cruz appeared to be “growing happier” after moving in with the Snead family, making it hard for them to see his true color. Apparently, the Sneads did not suspect anything despite the fact that the teen owns several weapons.
According to the couple, they knew about Cruz’s gun arsenal and even allowed him to keep them given that he followed their rules. Part of the rules included storing all of his guns — an AR-15, two other assault rifles, BB guns, and pellet guns — in a locked safe and surrender all keys.
Cruz was even instructed to ask for permission before unlocking the safe, which the couple claimed he did twice since moving in. Little did they know that the teenager managed to have access to the safe, possibly keeping a spare key for himself.
The foster parents reiterated that they were unaware of Cruz’s deadly plan on Valentine’s Day, which took the lives of 17 people.
“We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know. We didn’t see this side of him.”
Nikolas Cruz, who is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder, is “filled with regret” and “broken” after the horrible incident, according to his public defender Melisa McNeil.