Zachary Cruz told investigators that he had bullied his older brother Nikolas when they were younger, and after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month, he regrets it.
A Palm Beach County detective's report, obtained by CNN, reads that Cruz felt he could have prevent the Valentine's Day massacre, which his brother confessed to. He told investigators from both Palm Beach and Broward Counties that he and his friends had bullied his brother when they were younger, and Cruz "now regrets ever doing" it.
A detective wrote that Cruz wishes he had been nicer to his older brother over the course of their lives. He reportedly felt resentment, believing that Nikolas was the "favored brother."
Cruz has kept relatively quiet since his older brother carried out a historic mass shooting on their high school last month. He was hospitalized involuntary under Florida's Baker Act after the attack, but was reportedly released shortly after.
The two brothers share a biological mother, but not a father, according to a former neighbor. Their adoptive parents decided to take Cruz in when they learned that Nikolas's mother had yet another unwanted pregnancy. They're just over a year apart in age.
A Facebook profile claiming to be Cruz surfaced publicly last week. The user posted what appeared to be a childhood photo of the Cruz brothers together, along with two short sentimental messages. It has since been taken down. It had existed for years, and was linked to many other profiles in the Parkland, Florida community, leading many to believe it was authentic.
Nikolas brought an AR-15 assault rifle to his former high school on Feb. 14. He took 17 lives and put 14 more people in the hospital, marking one of the bloodiest mass shootings in America. His former classmates have taken up the cry for gun reform, speaking publicly with lawmakers and organizing an event called March for our Lives on Sunday, March 24 in Washington D.C.
Though they were hesitant at first, Florida state lawmakers have responded to the call for action. On Monday night, the state senate passed a bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase rifles to 21 years old. It would also institute a waiting period on the weapons.0comments
However, the bill would also introduce a program to train and arm teachers in Florida schools. The program would be named after Aaron Feis, the assistant football coach who gave his life in the shooting to shield students.
The bill still needs to pass the state's house of representatives to become law.