“He had been getting treatment at a mental health clinic, but he had stopped. He had been expelled from school for discipline problems,” washingtonpost.com reports. “Many of his acquaintances had cut ties in part because of his unnerving Instagram posts and reports that he liked shooting animals. His father died a few years ago, and his mother, among the only people with whom he was close, died around Thanksgiving. He was living in a friend’s house. He was showing signs of depression.” All of which begs the question . . .
why wasn’t Nikolas Cruz removed from society before he attacked the Parkland, Florida high school?
We know Cruz was banned from carrying a backpack to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after administrators found bullets in his backpack. We also know Cruz was eventually expelled for “disciplinary reasons” involving fighting. And then what?
Just like Newtown spree killer Adam Lanza, Parkland High School considered Cruz out-of-sight, out-of-mind — despite the fact that he was clearly out of his mind. Were social services informed that the orphan had been removed from government supervision? The police?
Strangely, the Post is giving everyone who knew that Cruz was a time bomb a free pass:
Though school officials, students and others who knew him were aware that something was off with Cruz, it is unclear if anyone had a full picture of what was building within him in recent months. Had everyone who knew of his struggles sat down in a room and compared notes about his recent past, perhaps an alarm would have sounded ahead of what emerged on Valentine’s Day, when Cruz allegedly walked into a suburban South Florida high school and carried out one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings.
Or not to strangely. How can the mainstream media and pandering pols focus on the killer’s gun — to lobby for gun control — if Cruz was such a clear and present danger? Very clear. Very present.
Math teacher Jim Gard, who taught Cruz last year before he was expelled from Stoneman Douglas, said that at some point the school administration sent out a note with a vague suggestion of concern, asking teachers to keep an eye on Cruz. “I don’t recall the exact message,” Gard said, “but it was an email notice they sent out.”
What does “keep an eye on” mean, exactly? And again, despite obvious concerns, the school decided that no further surveillance was required after they expelled Cruz.
Expect to see a lot of backpedaling and prevarication from school officials — and a lawsuit from the victims’ families.
Administrators aren’t the only ones likely to face scrutiny from angry taxpayers.
And Broward County Mayor Beam Furr told CNN that Cruz had been getting treatment at a mental health clinic for a while, but that he had not been back to the clinic for more than a year. “It wasn’t like there wasn’t concern for him,” Furr told CNN. “We try to keep our eyes out on those kids who aren’t connected. … In this case we didn’t find a way to connect with this kid.”
Yeah right. Cruz needed “connection” rather than, say, commitment to a mental institution.
And that right there is where the inevitable “debate” over mental health should focus: how can society better identify dangerous individuals and remove them from society? Not remove guns from their possession. Remove them.
It’s an approach that offends the touchy feely sentiments of progressives who never met a criminal, crazy or terrorist who wasn’t a “misguided soul” whose evil actions didn’t reflect a lack of love, support and government-funded support.
Roger Cruz — who along with his wife Lynda, had adopted Nikolas — died of a heart attack several years ago. Then in November, Lynda Cruz, 68, died of pneumonia, according to her sister-in-law, Barbara Kumbatovic.
With her death, Cruz and his half brother lost one of the only relatives he had left in the world, according to family and friends.
“Lynda was very close to them,” Kumbatovic told The Post. “She put a lot of time and effort into those boys, trying to give them a good life and upbringing.”
While one boy was quiet and seemed to stay out of trouble, Nikolas kept getting into problems at school, Kumbatovic said.
“Lynda dealt with it like most parents did. She was probably too good to him,” Kumbatovic said. “She was a lovely woman. She was a hard-working woman. She made a beautiful home for them. She put a lot of effort and time into their schooling, their recreation, whatever they needed. She was a good parent. And she went over and above because she needed to compensate for being a single parent.”
“I don’t think it had anything to do with his upbringing,” she said. “It could have been the loss of his mom. I don’t know.”
Regardless of his personal circumstances, Nikolas Cruz was a deeply disturbed man, a known threat allowed to live amongst members a peaceful community. Yet another community paying the price for official inattention.