Details emerge about accused Parkland shooter's texts 


The lawyer for a South Florida family that took in accused Parkland mass shooter Nikolas Cruz provided The Palm Beach Post on Wednesday with chilling details about texts between Cruz and the family’s teenage son in the minutes before Cruz opened fire.

>> Read more trending news

Attorney Jim Lewis’ comments came on the day a grand jury formally indicted Cruz on 34 counts, including 17 counts of premeditated first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder in the injuries to 17 others.

Cruz’s lawyers said he confessed to the shootings at the school.

Cruz was living with the Snead family in Parkland when he killed the 14 students and three adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

Snead family attorney Jim Lewis told The Palm Beach Post on Wednesday: 

• Cruz texted the Sneads' teenage son, who was in class at Douglas, around 2 p.m., about 20 minutes before the shooting began. Cruz asked what class the son was in and who the teacher was. The son said the teacher was one of the coaches. Cruz texted the son to ask the coach if he remembered Cruz. The coach was not one of the people Cruz shot.

• Minutes later, Cruz texted to say he was going to a movie. Lewis said he then "made some kind of comment that, 'I've got something big to tell you.'" When the son pressed him, Cruz texted, "no big deal. Nothing bad." 

• Lewis said the texting stopped at 2:18 p.m. The last text was a single word: "Yo." The Snead teen texted back several times without a response. Then, the shooting started. 

>> Grand jury indicts Parkland shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz on 34 counts

Lewis said in the days before the shooting, "There was nothing to give any clue that this was about to happen.

“No bad feelings about anybody's school. No bad feelings about Douglas in general." 

Authorities have said that, after the November pneumonia death of Cruz’s mother left Cruz and his younger brother, Zachary, orphaned, the two moved to the suburban Lantana home of family friend Roxanne Deschamps.

When Deschamps told Cruz he could stay only if he got rid of his guns, Cruz moved in with the Sneads in late November.

Six weeks before the shooting, Lewis said, James Snead had asked Douglas officials if Cruz, who had been expelled, could re-enroll. They said no. 

It was James Snead who got a text minutes into the rampage from his son, saying there'd been a shooting at the school. The father was on the way to school to pick up the teen. The son "called back and said people were saying it was Nik. That's when the father freaked out," Lewis said. 

Around that time, Lewis said, a Broward County Sheriff's Office commander called James Snead to ask if he had a son named Nik.

Snead explained Cruz wasn't related, but was living at the house.

A short time later, Snead called the commander back to say he was worried because his wife, who's a night nurse, was asleep at the home on Loxahatchee Road. Soon deputies were swarming the home. Snead’s wife was unharmed.

Lewis said Cruz had no contact with the family after that last text message, "Yo," until the family saw him later that night. They'd come down to make a statement to Broward County sheriff’s investigators and saw Cruz through a window. 

"That's when Nik mouthed the words to them; 'I'm sorry.'"

 

 


Reader Comments


Next Up in News

Group provides Christmas gifts for children of inmates
Group provides Christmas gifts for children of inmates

A group of good Samaritans in Virginia is making sure the children of inmates at its local jails will have a good Christmas. The organization, Building Resilience in Communities, held its fourth “It Takes a Village” program this past weekend, WTKR reported.  This year they worked with the Western Tidewater Regional Jail and the Hampton...
Springfield man indicted in attack on woman
Springfield man indicted in attack on woman

A Springfield man was indicted accused of a violent attack against a woman he knew. Christopher Fenner, 45 was indicted in Clark County Common Pleas Court on charges of domestic violence and abduction. He previously pleaded not guilty to similar charges in Clark County Municipal Court. Springfield police began their investigation when they were called...
UPS seasonal delivery driver, 2 others accused in Florida package-stealing scheme
UPS seasonal delivery driver, 2 others accused in Florida package-stealing scheme

A seasonal UPS delivery employee and two others were arrested in connection with a package-stealing scheme in Florida, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said. Surveillance video shows uniformed delivery driver Okoye D. Manley, 28, delivering packages to a home on Dellcrest Place in Lake Mary, deputies said. Investigators said Manley texted...
Sailors reunited with families just in time for holidays
Sailors reunited with families just in time for holidays

Dozens of sailors from the U.S. Navy are back with their families in Jacksonville after an eight-month deployment. They were reunited with their loved ones at Naval Air Station Jax on Saturday – just in time for the holidays. “We haven’t put up any trees, no decorations. No presents wrapped," Melanie Skiva said. "We're...
Must-see: Car crashes into Alabama home; shocking photo goes viral
Must-see: Car crashes into Alabama home; shocking photo goes viral

Nobody was hurt Sunday when a car crashed into a home in Montgomery, Alabama, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  The shocking scene on Perry Hill Road was captured in a photo that quickly went viral. "Be safe out there!" Montgomery Fire/Rescue wrote on Facebook, adding that the lack of injuries was "nothing...
More Stories