Nikolas Cruz, the alleged school shooter behind the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left 17 people dead, has been observed “smiling” and “giggling” by jail staff several times since he was first incarcerated, according to jail records.
As CNN reports, jail documents obtained by the network offer a glimpse into the alleged shooter’s life behind bars. At certain points during his incarceration, he’s been observed smiling, giggling, and even breaking out into laughter. Other observations from his jailers portray the alleged shooter as “calm” and “cooperative.”
The network reviewed jail records from between February 17 and 24; the records begin three days after the February 14 mass shooting.
Because of his “high-profile” status, Cruz is separated from other jail inmates and housed in the jail infirmary. Authorities describe him as “relaxed” and “cooperative,” and note that he showered and ate a whole meal.
A comparatively busy day for Cruz, the suspect visited with his attorney, a nurse, and a doctor. A jailer’s notes describe Cruz as “very engaged, responsive” and “talkative,” sitting forward in his chair and nodding “yes” or “no” in response to questions.
On both days, deputies’ notes describe Cruz as “calm” and “cooperative.” Some note that, at times, his speech appeared slurred, or he appeared lost in thought. Notes say that he lays in bed and stares at the ceiling sometimes, while not appearing to sleep.
New jail records on Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz:
– He’s behaving
– Kept in single cell for his own safety
– “Appeared to break out in laughter” on Feb. 20
– Observed sitting in cell with ‘blank stare’ multiple times
– Requested a Bible on Feb. 24 pic.twitter.com/CkB5DjkHoW
— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) March 7, 2018
On this day, Cruz had a “professional visit” — likely from his attorney. During and after the visit, say deputies, he appeared to “break out into laughter.”
Another outsider visited Cruz on this day, this time for certain his attorney. During the visit, he was observed to be “coherent,” as well as “smiling” and “giggling.”
On this date, Cruz was allowed a family visit and requested a Bible.
The rest of the jailers’ notes paint a picture of the extremely mundane daily life of an incarcerated inmate awaiting trial. Notes observe Cruz’s refusal of meals, or what he ate of other meals; his acceptance or refusal of offers of yard time; his acceptance or refusal of opportunities to shower; and so on.
Cruz’s attorney, Chief Assistant Public Defender Gordon Weekes, cautioned against reading too much into reports of his client’s life behind bars.
“They are snippet observations from corrections officers and are not clinical impressions made by his treating psychologist or psychiatrist at the jail. They don’t show a complete picture. They are generated because Mr. Cruz has a high-profile case and is on suicide watch.”