On Friday, the New York Times reported on several warning signs and tips police ignored in the months before the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where Cruz killed 14 students and three teachers. One tip came from Cruz himself, who called authorities just after Thanksgiving.
"The thing is I lost my mother a couple of weeks ago, so like I am dealing with a bunch of things right now," Cruz said, sounding as if he was out of breath.
That same month, Roczanne Deschamps, the family friend who took care of Cruz after his mother died, called 911 to tell the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office he was worried about what Cruz would do if he got back to the school.
“I need someone here because I’m afraid he comes back and he has a lot of weapons," Deschamps told authorities on Nov. 29.
Deschamps told the dispatcher that Cruz bought about eight guns and he kept them at a friend's house. She also said she threw Cruz out of the house after he fought with her adult son, Rock.
“He got pissed off and then he came in the house and started banging all the doors and banging in the walls and hitting the walls and throwing everything in the room,” Deschamps said. “And then my son got in there and he said, ‘Stop it,’ and he didn’t want to stop.”
She said Cruz was obsessed with his gun.
“That’s all he wants is his gun,” she told the 911 dispatcher. “And that’s all he cares about is his gun. He bought tons of bullets and stuff and I took it away from him.”
On Jan. 5, an unidentified woman called the FBI tip line, telling the bureau, "I know he's going to explode" and might go "into a school and just shooting the place up."
That call lasted over 13 minutes. The woman said the 19-year-old Cruz has the "mental capacity of a 12 to a 14 year old."
She also described four Instagram accounts Cruz had, where he posted photos of his weapons and mutilated animals. The caller claimed Cruz used money from his mother's life insurance policy to buy the guns. She also said she previously called the Broward County Sheriff's Office to report her concerns about Cruz trying to kill himself, but nothing came of it.
You can read the full transcript of the call here.
On Friday, the Broward sheriff's office released the records of 18 calls involving Cruz, and confirmed two of the calls are still under an internal investigation. Two deputies are on restricted duty during the investigations. The office also said it had 23 documented interactions with Cruz before the shooting.0comments
Before her death in November, Lynda Cruz called police several times in the past decade to report on her son's violent outbursts. She said he suffered from obsessive compulsive and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.
Cruz confessed to the shooting and has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.