Paper Faces Contempt for Story on School Shooting Suspect

Paper Faces Contempt for Story on School Shooting Suspect

Paper Faces Contempt for Story on School Shooting Suspect

Cruz, a former Stoneman Douglas student, roamed the hallways of the 1200 building on campus February 14 for several minutes, targeting victims huddled in classrooms on the first and second floors, killing 14 students and three school employees in one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern USA history.

Attorneys for the suspected gunman have acknowledged his guilt, focusing their efforts instead on arguing that he should be spared a death sentence and offering to have him plead guilty in exchange for life in prison without parole.

The Associated Press and other media had sought the statement's release under Florida's broad public records laws.

When the officer briefly left the room to look for water anyway, Cruz said to himself: "Kill me, just kill me". "It's a voice. The voice is in here and then it's me, it's just regular me, just trying to be a good person".

The report, compiled by a consultant hired by the Broward school district, also showed that Cruz had exhibited troubling behavior as early as age three, when he was kicked out of pre-K program, having shown aggressive behavior, and had been classified as needing special education because of apparent developmental delays. But he only got sick, he says.

The detective asked Cruz what the demon told him to do. After extensive explanation by the detective, he eventually says he understands.

He also seems unable to recall what city he was born in or the name of the friend he had temporarily been living with, although he does ask whether the friend is "okay".

"I didn't even know that was possible", he told the Sentinel but asserted that the details mistakenly revealed about Cruz's lack of therapeutic services do not change the conclusions about the shooting.

When asked if he remembers going to school, Cruz said, "It's blank".

The scene would repeat itself several times throughout the night, according to a partial transcript of the interview released today: Curcio would leave the room and Cruz, 19, would talk to himself about dying, about how he was "worthless". Cruz said during the interrogation that he took almost an entire bottle of ibuprofen in an attempted suicide, but he threw up when his heart and stomach began to hurt.

Then, after almost three hours of questioning: "Why didn't he kill me?"

Asked if he had ever seen a psychologist before, Cruz said no and that the voice in his head had told him not to.

"The voice is in here", Cruz said, pointing to his head. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

"How does building a fire in a fire pit when you're listening to the voice keep you from being lonely?" Sometimes, he would cut himself, Cruz said, including on the morning of the shooting, when took a blunt knife to himself at a lake where he had gone fishing.

Zachary Cruz apologised for mistreating his older brother in the past and repeatedly told him he loved him.

If you are anxious about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider.

According to the transcript, Cruz appeared confused at times. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

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