Park shooting suspect’s mother let him buy gun despite mental health counselors’ pushback, official says



Park-shooter purchased guns despite a counselor opposition

The commission is examining the Park shooting heard disturbing details about the gunman. According to the officials, Nikolas Cruz’s late mother, allowed him to buy a gun despite opposition by the counselors.

The mother of Nikolas Cruz, the man who is accused of the murder of 17 people in the Park, Florida, earlier this year, was “an enabler” that allowed her son to buy a gun, despite the concerns of the mental health counselors, an official said Tuesday.


Cruz, according to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, the president of the marjory Stoneman Douglas, the Public Safety Commission, said Lynda Cruz did not stop with her son, who had alleged behavioral problems for years.

“If he wants to have a weapon he could have a gun,” Lynda Cruz told her son, counselors, according to Gualtieri.

Lynda Cruz has died of a pneumonia in November, three months before her son allegedly opened fire in the 1200 building of Stoneman Douglas High School.


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The mass shooting suspect has been in contact with at least 140 school and mental health counselors through the years, Gualtieri said. He noticed Lynda Cruz would often interfere, but not extensive.

Behavorial files on Cruz, obtained by Fox News, indicate that in September 2016, the defendant wanted to purchase a gun and Lynda Cruz was “going to get him an ID.” She reportedly planned to keep it in her own possession and would only allow her son, when he would make the purchase of pellets for his pellet gun.

The public safety commission voted Tuesday that Cruz 2013 participation in the Broward County school district Promise Program — which has been criticized for leniency and the question of whether Cruz completed the program — played no role in the massacre.


Under the Promise, students who are to small or vandalism, theft, harassment, fighting, or other minor crimes or violations are referred to the off-campus program for two to 10 days. They are assessed, receive a course of treatment, attend classes and receive counseling. Records show nearly 90 percent of the Promise participants never reoffend, Gualtieri said.

Cruz was referred to the program as an eighth-grader after he broke a bathroom faucet, records show.

“The Promise Program is not relevant for Nikolas Cruz,” Gualtieri said. “It is never in any way, shape, form would have affected his ability to buy that AR-15 and for the purchase of the shotguns, to buy anything else to possess it.”


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Records are not clear about the question of whether Cruz attended Promise or skipped from the command.

School officials originally said that he was never referred to the program, but later said they found records showing that he was. Gualtieri said, even if the program does not exist, and Cruz has been charged criminally, at the most, he would have been sentenced to community service.

The marjory Stoneman Douglas, the Public Safety Commission brings law enforcement, education and mental health officials along with legislators and the parents of the student victims. It will prepare a report by Jan. 1.

Cruz is charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder. His lawyers have said that he would confess in exchange for life in prison without parole. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Fox News’ Kathleen Reuschle and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nicole Darrah cover breaking and trending news for Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.

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