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zacharycruz Broward County, Fla., Sheriff's Office
Zachary Cruz

Brother of shooter arrested after allegedly trespassing at Parkland, Fla., high school

Zachary Cruz, 18, had been warned to stay away from the school where his brother allegedly gunned down 17 people.

The brother of the alleged gunman in the shooting attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has been charged with trespassing at the school.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Zachary Cruz, 18, the brother of Nikolas Cruz, 19, was arrested Monday and is being held on $500,000 bond at Broward County Jail.

In setting bond Tuesday, Judge Kim Theresa Mollica also ordered certain restrictions — including that Zachary Cruz stay away from Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla.

Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of murder after he allegedly used an assault rifle to carry out a deadly shooting Feb. 14 at the high school.

Assistant State Attorney Sarahnell Murphy urged the judge to set an exceptionally high bond for Zachary Cruz—he was initially jailed on a bond of $25—because, she argued, "he has all the same flags present as his brother.”

“His mother and father are deceased, his brother is incarcerated," Murphy said. "When he was arrested, he gave a Parkland address where he does not reside."

The guardian that Cruz lives with in Lake Worth, Fla., was in New York when he was arrested and had “no idea” how or why he went to the school. Murphy told the judge that Cruz has no legitimate purpose for being at Stoneman Douglas.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office said Zachary Cruz rode his skateboard at 4:30 p.m. Monday across the campus. He spent less than 10 minutes on the campus; a staff member recognized him and called the Sheriff’s Office.

Zachary Cruz told deputies he visited the school “to reflect on the school shooting and to soak it in,” according to the arrest report. He had been warned by school officials to keep away from the campus.

“When the parents became aware of his presence on campus many kept their children home from school today," Murphy said. "They have again been terrorized."

Zachary Cruz has been living with a family friend, Rocxanne Deschamps, in Lantana since the death of his mother in November.

The Cruz brothers were adopted by Lynda and Roger Cruz from the same mother. The couple had arranged the private adoptions through an attorney.

Roger Cruz suffered a heart attack and died when the boys were very young. Lynda Cruz was hospitalized with pneumonia and died in November.


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