OpinionTrending Commentary

Nikolas Cruz – from Bullied Kid to Monster on the Campus

Florida Town Of Parkland In Mourning, After Shooting At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Kills 17

While the whole country is talking gun control and pointing fingers at each other not much is being mentioned about the cause that made Nikolas Cruz into the monster he became. Sure some are saying he was autistic and that combined with depression from when his adoptive mother dying sent him over the edge. There is much talk about the 39 times police were called to his home and nothing was done and the calls to the FBI saying he said he was going to be a school shooter and nothing was done, but not much as to what caused him to be that way. He obviously wasn’t born that way.

So let me set the record straight. If you want to blame someone for last week’s massacre — blame Nikolas Cruz, the monster who opened fire inside a gun-free zone. Blame the FBI for failing to stop the attack despite specific warnings. Blame the Broward County Sheriff and the mental health workers and the school district for turning a blind eye to a walking time bomb and blame the NRA and law-abiding gun owners, but President Trump and law-abiding gun owners are not the bad guys.

The closest I found was an article in the Miami Herald that delved deeply into his background that gives some more exact answers to his behavior. In that article, a friend said Cruz was a lonely, volatile and ostracized kid. But what causes that?

To Cruz, the campus’ sun-splashed courtyards were a dark place where he was mocked and ridiculed for his odd behavior, according to interviews with close family friends, students and recently released police and mental health reports.

“Someone could have approached a faculty member, a guidance counselor, a teacher and said, ‘This kid gets bullied a lot, someone should do something,’ ” said student Manolo Alvarez, 17, who had history class with Cruz. “I regret definitely not saying anything.”

Cruz, 19, is charged with entering the school near dismissal time, armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. He then strolled through the halls, firing into classrooms. Fourteen students and three staffers were killed, and more than a dozen others were injured.

Cruz — at 5-foot-7 and 120 pounds — was scrawny, and rarely, if ever, felt comfortable with other kids, either in his Parkland neighborhood or at Stoneman Douglas, according to Paul Gold, who lived next door to the Cruz family and remained in touch with Nikolas up until his mother’s funeral in November.

Cruz had been diagnosed with the neurological disorder autism. Michael Alessandri, a clinical professor of psychology at the University of Miami, cautioned that Cruz’s diagnosis of autism should not be viewed as a cause of his attack at Stoneman Douglas High.

“It is a social communication disorder, not a violent disorder,” Alessandri said.

“He was ostracized his whole life,” said Gold, who said he was one of only four people, including Nikolas, and his younger brother, Zachary, who attended the funeral of his mother, Lynda Cruz, in November.

Cruz was treated for depression and attention deficit disorder, and his mother found it increasingly difficult to control his behavior from the time he was an adolescent, despite periodic interventions by mental health counselors and law enforcement authorities, records show.

“His mother made a major push to have him lead a normal life,” Gold said. “But toward the end of her life, she really had given up.’’


BSO deputies were summoned to their Parkland home more than 30 times in the past seven years, records show. The complaints ranged from petty domestic disputes to a time Cruz threw a vacuum cleaner at his mom.

Gold said Lynda Cruz was strict with her sons and was not averse to striking them when they misbehaved. At least one time, DCF investigated her for possibly abusing the boys and inadequately supervising them. The case was closed. Nikolas Cruz was getting treatment at Henderson Mental Health, the DCF report said. Still, they concluded he was not enough of a threat to be hospitalized or committed to a facility.

Cruz was about 11 when Gold and his girlfriend, Roxanne Deschamps, moved next door to them in Parkland. Cruz’s father, Roger — everyone called him “Ray” — was a self-employed advertising salesman who died of a heart attack in 2004 when Nikolas was 5, county records show.

Roger Cruz bought the five-bedroom, three-bath home in Pine Tree estates for $94,000 in 1996. By the time he died, he left a $1 million estate, including the house, which by then was worth more than $570,000, county records show.

He and his wife met when they were married to other people, then married later in life after divorces. Gold said he wasn’t sure when the boys were adopted, but they didn’t learn they were adopted until they were in their teens.

“The family had money. Lynda even had his life insurance money — but she was very, very frugal,” Gold said. Lynda Cruz stayed home with the boys, and sometimes watched Gold’s daughter, who was friends with the boys.

The suspect within the Florida college capturing is reportedly set to obtain an inheritance presumably topping 1,000,000 .According to TV station WSVN-7, the windfall might drive Nikolas Cruz to rent a personal legal professional and lose the taxpayer-paid public defender he has had in his courtroom appearances up to now.

The Miami Fox affiliate cited “a copy of the motion the public defender plans to file to re-determine if Cruz is indigent.”

Mr. Cruz and his brother, the movement states, are anticipated to get practically $800,000 from the life-insurance coverage on their mom Lynda Cruz, who died in November, plus a number of hundred thousand extra from the sale of her residence. If he has that type of cash, Mr. Cruz wouldn’t be thought of “indigent” and not qualify for a free lawyer from the state, WSVN reported.

Gold said he recognized right away that Nikolas Cruz needed psychological help.

“He would bang his head with his hands, and often lose control over minor things, like loud sounds,” Gold recalled.

He once smashed some golf clubs into one of Gold’s vehicles. He struggled to make friends.

Gold recalled seeing Cruz as a kid attempt to join other kids riding their bicycles in the neighborhood, but the kids brushed him off and called him names.

He would come home from school angry or depressed. “He would come over after school and was visibly upset about being teased, but he pretended that he really didn’t care,” Gold said.

“Despite his mother’s attention, he just felt horribly unloved, and felt he had no one to turn to,’’ Gold said.

Gold and Deschamps tried to help their mother, who was in her 60s and in poor health.

Cruz’s school life was particularly difficult to watch, Gold said.

Other kids at the school would mock Cruz for being a loner.

The district did not release his disciplinary records or whether the district investigated the bullying. But Superintendent Robert Runcie said he was not aware of any reports about Cruz being harassed.

In August 2016, DCF records show, Cruz had just broken up with his girlfriend, and got into a fight with another boy. Several students told Buzzfeed News that they reported him to school security and other administrators after he threatened them during a profane exchange over the ex-girlfriend.

Gold said that Cruz escaped his misery by playing video games for eight, 12, even 15 hours a day. Gold, who owns a film and video production company, sometimes would play a game or two with them.

“It was kill, kill, kill, blow up something, and kill some more, all day,” he said.

Last November, someone with his name posted a threat on YouTube that was reported to the FBI. In it, he claimed he wanted to be a school shooter. The FBI admitted on Friday it had failed to follow up on that tip, and another in January that went into even greater detail about his threats and the possibility that he had acquired a number of weapons.

In spite of the police reports and his mental health history, Cruz was able to pass a background check and buy the rifle in February 2017. In Florida, absent a felony or domestic abuse conviction, almost any adult can walk into a gun store and walk out the same day with an AR-15 rifle and a cache of ammunition after clearing a simple background check.


From then on we know what happened. So it seems the main thing was him being bullied that started this whole crazy mindset. Wasn’t that Michelle Obama’s big crusade to end bullying in the schools? But I digress.

Bullying, alienation, silence,  social media attacks, etc. Kids today can be vicious and unrelenting in their attacks on, and isolation of other kids. In our day confrontation was face to face and ended when you went home from school. Now , with technology, cell phones, social media etc. it is constant. Never ending. Kids of today need to be aware of kids that are being pushed over the edge and either report them or reach out to them or both. After every one of these tragedies, it comes out too late that lots of kids were aware of the shooters propensity to do something like this, but the last statement is ‘I never thought they would actually do it” or “I never thought it would come to this”. Well, you’re wrong. They do actually do it and it does come to this. I’m sensing many people attack the gun, because they perceive it as conservative or republican so it’s the in thing to attack, and that is what they are telling their kids. The kids then trumpet that view. Guns have always worked the same way. Pull the trigger and it fires. What’s changed is us. And until we fix us and how we treat each other, guns are a secondary issue.

And now CNN and MSNBC are using the kids as political pawns.T he mainstream media is cynically using a lot of traumatized teens from Parkland, Fla., in their latest shameful attack on President Trump and the National Rifle Association. It’s right out of the pages of “Rules for Radicals” — turning innocent children into propaganda pawns to peddle a fake news narrative. It’s beyond shameful that reporters would take advantage of traumatized young people. But these days common decency is hard to find in American newsrooms.

“You sicken me,” said one child on CBS. “President Trump, you control the House of Representatives, you control the Senate, and you control the executive [branch]. You haven’t taken a single bill for mental health care or gun control and passed it. And that’s pathetic. We’ve seen a government shutdown, we’ve seen tax reform, but nothing to save our children’s lives. Are you kidding me? You think now is the time to focus on the past and not the future to prevent the death of thousands of other children?”

President Trump does not control the House or the Senate. It’s too bad the CBS host did not correct the young man. Maybe CBS didn’t know any better, either.

Another student threatened to dismantle the NRA and others hurled vile profanities at President Trump and law-abiding gun owners.

Chief among these is a young kid named David Hogg. He is being passed off as a student who survived the tragedy. He is all over the place and there is a video of him being coaxed as to what to say by someone off camera and him flubbing the lines. When he is finally interviewed for real sometimes you can see his eyes moving off to the side as if being coached.  This kid is an actor and a fake and was scripted. There is a video of him being coached on what to say about the school shooting. One guy lost his job for saying he was an actor. Harris Faulkner on Outnumbered on Fox interviewed him and was saying what a brave kid he was. He said he was at the school when the shooting started and he never was there. I like Harris but she was being duped by him. I was shouting at my TV saying, “Harris don’t believe this kid. He’s using you.”CNN, MSNBC using Florida teens as anti-Trump propaganda pawns | Fox News

Now it has been confirmed that David Hogg is a member of John Podesta’s Center for American Progress and he has a CNN employed mother, a former FBI employed father in addition to ties to a Podesta organization.

Meanwhile, the debate over gun control rages on even though there are over 100 laws on the books controlling guns already.You don’t need new laws just enforce the existing ones.


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Jim Clayton

I am a retired former newspaper reporter and retail sales person. I'm a politically conservative easy going person from New Jersey. I am married to a wonderful wife and like talking and writing about movies,, concerts I attend and current events all which I write about here. I would enjoy hearing from anyone on my articles and they can write to me here.

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One Comment

  1. I am a conservative Constitutionalist and I liked your article, but there is one issue that I disagree with. I live in FL and have bought guns in FL, you cannot walk into a gun store or gun show and walk out with a Gun. You must wait three days and then go pick it up after the background check has been confirmed. The only exception I am aware of if you have taken a concealed carry course and received a concealed carry permit, then you can buy a gun and walk out of the store with it.

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