Parkland Counselors, Deputy Wanted Nikolas Cruz Committed in 2016

Officials became so concerned about Nikolas Cruz in 2016 that they wanted him institutionalized, but their recommendation was never acted upon, the Associated Press reports.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School counselors and Broward Sheriff's Deputy Scot Peterson decided 17 months before the deadly massacre at the Parkland, Florida school that Cruz should be forcibly committed, AP reports, citing documents in the criminal case. They recommended he be involuntarily committed for a mental evaluation.

Peterson, the deputy who resigned amid accusations he failed to respond to the shooting by staying outside the building where the killings occurred, wanted Cruz committed under Florida's Baker Act. The law allows for involuntary commitment for mental health examination for at least three days.

That would have made it virtually impossible for Cruz to purchase the AR-15 assault rifle used in the Feb. 14 shooting rampage that killed 14 students and three school employees. In addition, 17 people were wounded.

The documents, part of Cruz's criminal case in the shooting, show he wrote "kill" in a notebook, told a classmate that he wanted to buy a gun and use it, and cut his arm — supposedly in anger — because he had broken up with a girlfriend. Calls had even been made to the FBI about the possibility of Cruz using a gun at school.

The documents were provided by Henderson Behavioral Health, a psychological assessment service initiated by Cruz mother.

Florida prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for Cruz, the 19-year-old former student charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder in the school shooting.


The Broward State Attorney Michael J. Satz filed the notice of intent on Tuesday, ABC News reports. Cruz is scheduled for a formal arraignment on Wednesday on a 34-count indictment.

Cruz was formally charged on Wednesday with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the first degree and 17 counts of attempted murder in the first degree for his confessed massacre on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.