On Wednesday after, Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old expelled student, opened fire at his former school – Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The terrifying incident left 17 dead.
Authorities, who began investigating the case, found disturbing elements on his laptop.
“We already began to dissect his websites and the things on social media that he was on and some of the things that came to mind are very, very disturbing," Israel said.
Born in September 1998, Nikolas was adopted by his mother Lynda Cruz.
His 68-year-old adoptive mom died of pneumonia in November 2017, barely four months before the incident. His adoptive father died long ago. He has a brother, who too was adopted by the Cruz family.
Nikolas had “issues” from childhood, say relatives.
One relative, on condition of anonymity, told arcamax.com that Nikolas had been diagnosed with autism.
Lynda reportedly sought counselling for Nikolas from a young age and he was on medication for a long time.
After his mother passed away, Nikolas started living with a friend.
Former classmates recall Nikolas as a lonely student who made weird comments.
Cruz had "a bunch of weapons" and talked about shooting lizards, squirrels and frogs, said former classmate Trevor Hart.
Neighbours recall Nikolas often causing trouble, with police being called out numerous times.
Once, he made his dog attack neighbour's little pigs, another time tried to steal a bike from neighbour's garage.
More recently, Williams saw Cruz carrying several publications about guns when they ran into each other at the high school. Williams thought Cruz was there to pick up a younger sibling.
“He was crazy about guns,” Williams told Reuters, speaking by the side of the road near the high school. “He was kind of an outcast. He didn’t have many friends. He would do anything crazy for a laugh, but he was trouble.”
With agency inputs