A Facebook page went public on Saturday with the name Zachary Cruz. It may be the younger brother of Nikolas Cruz, who took 17 lives in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day, though it has yet to be confirmed.
The account has existed for several years, and Zachary Cruz is Facebook friends with many students from Stoneman Douglas High and other members of the Parkland, Florida community. This includes Rocxanne Deschamps, the family friend who reportedly took the Cruz brothers in when their mother died in Novemeber.
Late on Saturday night, Cruz posted, "Appreciate all the positive messages," along with a heart emoji. The comments section filled with prayers, both for Zachary and his older brother. Commenters encouraged Cruz to ignore any negativity coming his way. Some appear to be from friends, while many are from strangers who have apparently found Cruz's page after the national tragedy.
One mother from New Jersey encouraged Cruz to "scroll through any negatives here and absorb all the love and concern for you from your friends and persons you have never met. All positive thoughts , good wishes and prayers are being sent to you."
The only other post visible from Cruz's profile is a photo of himself and his brother as young boys. It was posted at 4:23 a.m. yesterday, with the caption "Reminiscing." This, too, drew comments both from friends and strangers, many of them unfriendly.
"really !! this picture is a bit if [sic] a slap in the face to all the victims and their families. I appreciate your situation but you need to understand the last thing anyone wants to see at the moment is him. So use your head in future and i wish u all the best," wrote one user.
"Can we stop with the thoughts and prayers for the sociopathic lunatic with aspirations of being a 'professional school shooter' who murdered 17 innocents in cold blood," wrote another.0comments
"I can’t even believe all the sympathetic message for his brother," someone responded. "It’s disturbing considering victims are still laying in hospital beds."
Zachary Cruz was reportedly hospitalized involuntarily following the shooting for a mental health examination, though he has since been released. The two brothers share a biological mother, though not a father. They were both adopted at birth by the Cruz family.