Parkland shooting: Zachary Cruz says he’s not like his brother 


Zachary Cruz, the brother of confessed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter, Nikolas Cruz, said he wasn’t like his brother, as some painted him to be. 

“I’m just a kid who likes to skate and have fun with my friends,” he said in an interview with Inside Edition

The nationally broadcast interview on Wednesday was his first since moving to Virginia from Palm Beach County this month. Cruz moved with the help of Nexus Services, a Virginia-based electronic monitoring company. The group got involved with Cruz after the teen’s two arrests in South Florida. 

In March, Cruz was arrested in Broward County for trespassing at the Parkland high school where his brother is charged with killing 17 people and injuring 17 others. In what normally would have been a $25 bail for a trespassing charge, he was held on $500,000 bail because prosecutors said he showed the same red flags as his brother. This month, he was arrested in Palm Beach County for violating conditions of his probation on the trespassing charge. Law enforcement officers said he was driving without a driver’s license.  

He said he spoke with Nikolas Cruz hours after the shooting and asked him why he killed those in the school.  Zachary Cruz said his brother told him “his demons got to him.” He said his brother didn’t know how many people he had killed either. 

As he spoke about growing up with his brother, Zachary Cruz recounted a time when they were growing up and Nikolas Cruz pointed a loaded shotgun at him. 

“That day I thought I was going to die,” Zachary Cruz said in the interview. 

During the segment on Inside Edition, Cruz rode his skateboard in a park, unpacked picture frames in his new home in Staunton, Va., and played with his dogs. 

Before his move, Cruz picked up Colby, a fox terrier mix, and Mazie, a mixed golden retriever, from VCA Simmons Animal Hospital in Greenacres Sunday. He said the dogs belonged to him and his brother for 15 years. 

Outside the hospital, he spoke with reporters about his hopes for his future in Virginia

"I want to just finish high school," he told The Palm Beach Post Sunday. "After that, I want to do anything I want to do."


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