The younger brother of Nikolas Cruz has apparently broken his silence more than a week after the horrifying Florida school shooting.
In an exclusive video obtained by the Daily Mail, 18-year-old Zachary Cruz was spotted out for the first time since his brother open-fired at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The teenager was seen skateboarding shirtless near his home in Lake Worth, Florida, looking carefree and relaxed. Zachary, who was adopted along with Nikolas when they were babies, has not been seen in public since he was involuntarily committed to a mental facility last week.
According to the outlet, Nikolas and Zachary had not been living together prior to the deadly shooting. There were claims that the two were not getting along well, especially after their adoptive mother passed away in November.
Apparently, the two had been taken in by Roxanne Deschamps, but Nikolas moved out in January after being told that he could not bring his firearms to the house.
Recent reports alleged that Zachary used to bully Nikolas and that they had quite a rocky relationship. According to the Sun-Sentinel, he was often forced by their mother to take his brother along when he was going out because Nikolas was “socially awkward.”
Authorities revealed that Zachary admitted that he and his friends often picked on Nikolas but “deeply regretted” it now. Apparently, he told deputies last week that he wished he had been “nicer to his brother.”
It was also revealed that there might have been resentment between the adoptive brothers because Nikolas may have been the “favored” one.
On Saturday, a Facebook account under the name Zachary Cruz posted a thank you message.
“Appreciate all the positive messages.”
He also shared a throwback photo of himself and Nikolas as young boys, smiling and hugging each other.
It remains unclear if the said Facebook account was actually run by Zachary himself.
Meanwhile, a photo of Nikolas and Zachary interring their deceased mother recently emerged online, drawing mixed reactions. In the photo believed to be taken around November or December, the brothers can be seen holding a metallic urn containing Lynda’s ashes as they placed it into a tomb.
A second photo believed to be taken around the same time shows Nikolas wearing the same red shirt and smiling in front of a Christmas tree.
Many pointed out that the photos of the troubled gunman showed a stark contrast to warnings received by authorities about the danger he poses.
Apparently, authorities received multiple phone calls informing them about Nikolas’ gun and knives collection. They were also warned that he would likely “kill himself one day” and could be a “school shooter in the making.”
On Valentine’s Day, Nikolas Cruz carried out a deadly shooting at his former high school, killing 17 people. He is now facing 17 counts of premeditated murder.