Cell phone footage taken at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida appears to show school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz in a violent act, more than a year before the deadly attack. Video from September 20, 2016 shows a group of students fighting outside the school building, with Cruz apparently struggling with a group of other boys.
According to local WPLG, who obtained the video, Cruz can be seen wearing a white t-shirt and khaki pants, fighting with several other students. The outlet confirmed with school records that Cruz was suspended on that date for two days. This was just one of five instances where Cruz faced discipline from the school before transferring out in February 2017.
In past years, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office reportedly received more than 20 calls about Cruz. On January 5 of this year, someone close to the suspect called the FBI’s tip line to report concerns about Cruz. The FBI confirmed that the tip addressed “Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” but that for some reason the information had not been passed along to the Miami Field Office, which could have looked into it.
“Every day we’re learning something more and more about the killer,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told WPLG.
Cruz’s own court-appointed attorney, Howard Finkelstein, pointed out the signs that the suspect was troubled.
“This kid, in his own way, was screaming out in every way the mind knows how to scream out,” Finkelstein said. “He did everything including saying, ‘I want to go and shoot people in school.’ I don’t know what you can do more than that to get somebodies attention.”
[Image via screengrab]