Zachary Cruz was arrested Monday for trespassing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — the location where his adoptive brother, Nikolas Cruz, murdered 17 people.
Authorities confirmed that the younger Cruz “unlawfully entered the school grounds” around 4:50 p.m. despite earlier warnings to stay away from the campus, Sun-Sentinel reported.
According to the Broward County Sheriff’s office, Zachary, 18, went through locked doors and gates, making his way inside the school premises. Surveillance footage also captured the teenager riding his skateboard throughout the property.
Authorities immediately arrested Zachary and brought in for questioning. Based on the arrest report, he told deputies that he went to the campus to “reflect on the school shooting and soak it in.”
Zachary is currently being held with bail set at $25 in Broward County jail — the same prison where Nikolas is staying without bond.
Meanwhile, Broward County Public Schools has yet to comment on the incident. However, parents of the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have already expressed their concern about what happened.
One parent, identified as Lori Alhadeff, is reportedly furious about the fact that Zachary managed to enter the school grounds. Her daughter, Alyssa, was one of the victims of Nikolas’ deadly attack at Stoneman Douglas.
Zachary Cruz, who was adopted along with Nikolas Cruz, was put under a mental health evaluation after the fatal shooting under the state’s Baker Act, Palm Beach Post reported.
Apparently, authorities were worried after he reportedly said he didn’t “want to be alive” after Nikolas’ crime, adding that he doesn’t want to deal with something like that. However, he denied wanting to hurt himself but admitted that he somehow felt guilty about what happened.
Nikolas and Zachary reportedly have had a strained relationship ever since they were young. According to reports, they had not been living together before the deadly shooting. There were claims that the two were not getting along well, especially after their adoptive mother passed away in November.
It has also been alleged that Zachary was often forced by their mother to take Nikolas along when he was going out with friends because the troubled teen was “socially awkward.”
Zachary even admitted that he and his friends used to pick on Nikolas but “deeply regretted” it now.
Nikolas Cruz murdered 14 students and three faculty members when he opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day. He is now facing 34 counts of murder and might face the death penalty.