Parkland High School Shooter: A Known Threat

Parkland Florida high school shooter in custody (courtesy foxnews.com)

“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.

comments

  1. avatar Sian says:

    There’s a lot of weight behind the idea that school shootings/mass shootings are a thing here, not because of the availability of guns, but because we as a society and as a community fail to connect with people who are having problems.

    It seems like Parkland did its level best to ignore this kid, despite every possible sign that he was going to explode one day.

  2. avatar Macofjack says:

    But with all this the first place the liberals go is “It’s the gun’s fault!” People have been killing people from the beginning of time. It’s far past time to turn the light on the real problem, mental illness!

    1. avatar Sian says:

      We’ve had mental illness since the beginning of time.

      We’ve had guns for over 500 years. “Modern” firearms with the capability to kill dozens for over a hundred years.

      Why are crimes like this only a thing of the last 30 years, and much more prominent in our society than others?

      That’s the question we need to ask, and the answers may not be comfortable ones.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        We haven’t had communist and feminazi run public schools emasculating boys for 600 years… Me thinks that’s a fairly recent thing. Hm….

        1. avatar Jeff says:

          Time outs and gun free zones.

      2. avatar Quest says:

        Kids grow up on a steady stream of deathertainment these days. Add to that the fragmentation of families, loss of common values, morality which is no longer taught, and an epidemic of depression and mental health issues brought on in large partby kids living increasingly in virtual rather than the real world.

        Ban kids from using social media/phone/internet, throw away your TV, and attend church (of whatever religious or even secular sort you wish), and I bet most of these events decrease.

        But no, instead we get if only we could ban guns, society would heal. Symptoms versus disease folks…

      3. avatar California Richard says:

        If someone tried this in the past, then half the faculty would pull out their S&W j-frames and the students would pull their rifles and shotguns from the janitor’s closet and put the rascal down…… but now schools are “safer” because we don’t allow that anymore.

  3. avatar Robert Hanlin says:

    A PERFECT example of system failure! I hate that it happened! How are the liberals going to spin this? The system failed and 17 people lost their lives because of it!!

    1. avatar Stereodude says:

      Duh, they’ll blame the NRA, guns, conservatives, and whatever else tickles their fancy.

      1. avatar Robert Hanlin says:

        Yep….

  4. avatar neiowa says:

    John Lott is going to be on Laura Ingrams radio prog in a few minutes to discuss.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      If you could, please give us a summary of what was discussed…

  5. avatar Swarf says:

    Well, as you know (but I’ll bring it up to put it in the conversation), the argument is that if he hadn’t had access to a gun, he wouldn’t have been able to shoot up a school and murder 17 people.

    Don’t jump down my ass for bringing it up, I’m just the messenger.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      No, he could have just pulled a fire alarm, grabbed a truck, and mowed through the crowds of students gathered outside Nice style.

      1. avatar 45&4WD says:

        This. Take the access to a real gun away in this story. The AR didn’t cause his obsession with killing, he already had that. All the warning signs would still have been there, the disturbing comments on YouTube, he still would have made strange social media posts with airsoft guns (or whatever is in the picture I keep seeing of him with an orange tipped pistol), etc. Where there’s a will there’s a way. It’s alarming to me that too many people don’t worry about the will.

      2. avatar Rick says:

        But he didn’t, he did what he did. So you can either deal with what has happened multiple times this month, or the thing that hasn’t happened at any schools in the US ever.

        My local school district needed new windows, so they just added armored windows and doors that can be locked with a reinforced bar into the floor. They’re all Level III, the total budget for all new doors and windows was a bit over $7 million, upgrading to the armored package added about $2mill, but also had new entries in all 5 schools with an armored man-trap entrances. Seemed a pretty good trade-off where the local school doesn’t have to wait for some federal or state legislative work

        1. avatar pwrserge says:

          Not an argument Rick. The point is that you don’t need a rifle to kill lots of people. The trucks of peace in Europe proved it over and over again. You’re done.

  6. avatar million says:

    apparently he had a facebook comment sent to the FBI back in September where he said he wanted to be a professional school shooter

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/02/nikolas-cruz-reported-fbi-potential-school-shooter-september-screenshot-threat/

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      Maybe they took him up on it…

      /conspiracy

      1. avatar California Richard says:

        The FBI had more important thing to do, like shred FISA requests and burn White House memos.

  7. avatar DesertDave says:

    The fact is that this person was a known threat and was even reported to the FBI regarding a post about “going to be a professional school shooter” (https://www.buzzfeed.com/briannasacks/the-fbi-was-warned-about-a-school-shooting-threat-from?utm_term=.ujqkqdylR#.pceylAgjQ) in a post to a YouTube video that was reported to the FBI. He was known to the school, local authorities, friends, it could not have been more known. In spite of this apparently he never committed any actionable offense until yesterday. Because of this you cannot just lock him up, unless he is committed to a psych institution, maybe.

    THIS is why everyone should be armed. If the faculty and even students were armed the body count would have been much less. When the anti-gun nuts are crying and moaning about guns being the problem, the real problem is the lack of guns.

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    AND as I type a “newz conference” is trying to absolve the FBI(and everyone)else of any responsibility. Say something?!? DO something…

  9. avatar rt66paul says:

    These people want to be remembered for something. If the person’s name and background could not be in the media(like a rape victim), they could not get the press they want. Stop giving out names in these group shootings and it stops(or at least slows down)

  10. avatar Texican says:

    My plan to solve this problem:

    1. Put God and his Word back in the culture.
    2. Let any adult with the willingness to do so carry at schools. Retirees would be ideal. Teachers and even older students could qualify.
    3. Get government out of the education (indoctrination) business. Because it is a failed business system.
    4. Ultimately, home schooling is the best answer. No big school with its target rich environment to attack will mean no mass shootings at schools

    If you leave your children there you are playing the bad kind of lottery where the consequences are all negative.

    If they can get you asking the wrong questions they don’t have to worry about answers. – Thomas Pynchon

    We say it here on this forum all the time – government is not the solution to our problems. Most of the time it is the cause of them. Let’s stop talking about how to improve a failed system and let’s start talking about using a better system. One that works!

    1. avatar Swarf says:

      Sorry, Texican, you lose me and a whole bunch of other people right at the first one.

      Now, instilling a stronger moral compass in our kids? Sure, but I personally think religion is part of the problem, not the answer.

      My morality doesn’t depend on mythology, and my desire to treat others well isn’t dependent on the threat of a Hell.

      1. avatar Leroy Jenkins says:

        I know right, why would teaching kids about fairy tale creatures help them in an armed stand off? Is papa smurf going to step in front of the bullet or something. You need less magic, more tangible things.

  11. avatar FlamencoD says:

    I don’t think you can commit someone to a mental institution for comments or weird behavior. I mean, seriously, who determines whether or not behavior is weird? It’s a slippery slope. That said, a self proclaimed future professional school shooter is obviously serious cause for alarm and should be considered a real threat and get them locked up for terrorist threats. What they should do for other less heinous cases, and this would be very expensive, is stay in touch regularly with at risk people such as this. Check in with them, get them plugged in to a job or volunteer work, etc. I don’t know if that will help but it’s a start. The next (or first?) step is to place armed security at every school and outfit them with quality security cameras and monitors. 2 men for small schools, 3 for mid size, and 4 for large schools. One person watches the monitors for suspicious behavior, the others strategically roam the halls, and monitor entry ways and the parking lots. Rotate position (including the security camera monitoring) to prevent fatigue.

  12. avatar BlazinTheAmazin says:

    This case is one of the few examples that probably could have been stopped ahead of time considering what he sent to the FBI. However, consider the Sandy Hook shooter (almost typed his name but I think it’s good policy not to) and others like him. How many oddball, loner, withdrawn, autistic types do we need to round up and lock in mental institutions before we feel safe. Depriving others of their freedom because we THINK they may go crazy is a dangerous road. I won’t claim to have any good answers because I don’t. May the victims families find peace and God bless the dead.

    1. avatar Sian says:

      The ‘oddball autistic loners’ need to be engaged. What they really need is a friend, who could possibly head off stuff like this, or at least care enough to get the authorities involved when it’s clear it has gotten out of hand. I think our society does a terrible job of handling the outcasts. People don’t get involved with their community anymore. (Yes I am extremely guilty of this myself.)

      1. avatar BlazinTheAmazin says:

        I believe most of us are guilty of this in some way or another and I don’t disagree with you. I just find it troubling that people are so quick to lock up someone that is unusual out of fear of what they might do.

    2. avatar Bev engel says:

      I’ve never met an autistic kid who enjoyed and bragged about killing animals; I have read about mass murders who did though

  13. avatar cisco kid says:

    The real truth is that in civilized countries like Japan this tragedy would never have happened. In Japan in order to get a firearms i.d. card the police interview your doctor and your neighbors and their professional vetting system would also have detected the killers prior mental health problems as well. Contrast this to our own totally incompetent FBI that was warned twice about this nut case and they sat on their hands drinking coffee and ready porn magazines rather than go out and pick this nut case up for questioning.

    The NRA is also to blame as they have consistently pandered not to the majority of their members but to the minority of their hard core base who believe in no gun laws regardless of high the dead body count gets.

    Safe storage laws would have prevented the majority of school shootings (not this one) because if guns were locked up then the distraught kid could not take his daddy’s assault rifle and commit mass killings. This is not rocket science and as previously noted every other civilized country has safe storage laws to prevent theft, accidental child shootings and kids committing mass shootings.

    Vetting of all gun purchases again would prevent lunatics and criminals from buying guns with no paper work at gun shows or from private sales which are legal in the majority of states. We already have the Brady Bill in place it would not cost very little to simply implement it for all gun sales.

    Because the NRA has prevented all of this from happening we as gun owners stand to lose everything and the corrupt Supreme Court along with the back stabbing corrupt Conservative Justices last summer reversed the Scalia decision due to public pressure and by letting the lower courts ban or restrict the right to own semi-auto weapons in Maryland and the other states like California now have the green light to start confiscating them and that is exactly what California now is about to do with no worry about the courts stopping it as they know now that the Scalia decision and the Second Amendment is now totally trashed and is ancient history and that now they can ban anything and everything they want to.

    Its the end of gun ownership in the U.S. as when the Dem’s regain control of Congress and the Presidency its a no brainier on what they are going to do and gun owners have no one to blame but themselves and the nut cases at the NRA as they all fought well established gun control measures that other counties put in placed decades ago that have prevented such school shootings from happening. Britain had just one School shooting in the 1980’s and they put an end to such horror as well as Australia and Germany as well. They and other countries dealt with the problem they did not wish that it just would not go away. Of course the Republicans wish it would but sooner than later they too will have to do something about it.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Oh really? Please let me know when Heller was reversed. The reality is that if you start confiscating guns from people with no criminal history, the politicians are going to rapidly wind up with terminal cases of lead poisoning.

    2. avatar cisco kid says:

      Sorry guys, I have to say these things. Bloomberg pays me and pays me well.

    3. avatar gliderguy says:

      Yeah. In Japan, a country with 1/3 our population, they have as many suicides as we have total gun deaths (homicides, suicides, justified, and accidents all together) it is a culture thing, America has a mixing pot of different cultures that invites more people to clash, Japan’s homogenous culture still values honor enough that people take their problems out on themselves rather than others…

      1. avatar Bev engel says:

        I used to read my grandmothers newspaper clippings from back in old days and depression days men who had no hope killed themselves and left everyone else alone.

  14. avatar cisco kid says:

    We are breeding a new generation of children that are totally against gun ownership as the children interviewed today and yesterday in the Florida massacre are all saying they have seen their comrades laying in pools of blood with their brains splattered all over the walls. They want something done to stop the madness and they will do it when they turn 18 by voting out Republicans and supporting more common sense gun control. To them the older hillbilly generation cannot die off of old age fast enough. And who can really blame them.

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Hey Eurotrash. In the real world, this is the most conservative generation in decades. I find it far more likely that we start rounding up commies like you and giving you the free helicopter rides you so throughly deserve.

    2. avatar Ogre says:

      If your prediction comes true, then the liberal progressives will have won and we’ll be on the road to a 1984 society – at least those of us who choose not to hide out in the hills and avoid it.

      As for me, I’ve considered that when I was a kid (1950s/1960s), we had our disputes with each other and (sometimes) with authority. In my town, the ones between kids were settled with fistfights, and rebellion against authority might result in some vandalism or hot-rodding. Even kids with mental hurdles didn’t run off and kill. They went to institutions or just sucked it up. But then we didn’t have any violent video games or see hundreds of characters per week killed off on TV or in movies or have cell phones and the internet to be our moral guide. There was a little shoot-em-up in the horse operas or dramas we watched, but only bad guys got killed (at the end of the episode) and it all seemed a world away from the way people really lived. Every boy that I knew in my town got a gun (shotgun or .22) when they were about 12 years old, but safety was taught and enforced by their adult family members, with the penalties for disobedience being severe. Most kids were indoctrinated (either in school, in church, in the military or by parents) against amoral anti-social behavior (killing, stealing, cheating, etc) and to respect authority. The ones who didn’t seemed to end up in prison somewhere. Punishment (either by parents or legal authorities) seemed swift and sure. Those days are behind us as the lefties/progressives and others have undermined all those institutions and kids are left to learn all about it mostly on their own. Parents who are either over-indulgent or afraid of Child Protective Services don’t discipline kids or they decide they want to be their friends, not their parents, and kids are on their own from an early age. I could go on. I’m convinced that the electronic age we live in has contributed mightily to the mental illness and deadly misadventures of many kids. And there’s no way we can end it, given how society is now that the horse is out of the stable. But society is lazy – rather than do what must be done to get kids under control again and make responsible adults out of them, it will go after the easiest target. Guns and gunowners. What’s to be done? I think deglamorizing the shooter’s actions by the rabid news media would be one thing that could be done – no names, no recognition. And swift, sure, public punishment and humiliation would be a deterrent to weak-minded adolescents that want to shoot up somebody.

      1. avatar Southern Cross says:

        I think deglamorizing the shooter’s actions

        Rendition the perp to Gitmo where he disappears into a non-person.

      2. avatar cisco kid says:

        We live in a society gone completely mad. Both parents must work to make ends meet which leaves “latch key children” to grow up largely unsupervised by adults. Many adults themselves were once latch key children. When you couple this with the high divorce rate and easy access to deadly weapons its no wonder the mass shootings did not start far sooner than they have. Many adults who cannot meet the bills even when working two totally worthless minimum wage jobs often end up as drug users and alcoholics and marriages end in divorce which further adds to the metal problems of growing up children.

        High paying labor jobs are now almost a thing of the past and we have a two tiered society of the super corrupt rich controlling all the money while the working man must work for nothing and pay all the taxes to run the government while the corrupt politicians pass Tax rape bills which lets them pay nothing in taxes and the super rich pay nothing either.

        All this has meant the complete breakdown of family life and a hell on earth for the working people who see no stake in society and no future for themselves or their children. When you couple this with no safe gun storage laws children who crack up simply take the guns of their irresponsible parents and then commit mass murder.

        We have no real health care in the U.S. either and when people need mental health care they cannot afford to get it. All the other civilized industrial nations went over to free health care and prescription drugs well over 70 years ago while here in the greed monger insane asylum of Capitalvania that hangs on to health care for blind greed and profit we have thousands die every year or go insane and commit mass murder.

        Yes its no wonder the Norwegians laughed their asses off when Herr Drumpf said he was thinking about letting more of them come here as immigrants. They replied they would never consider living in the U.S. that has turned its schools and highways into shooting galleries and a society that lets thousands die from a lack of both health care and prescription drugs. They know exactly what we face over here and that is a Nation run by the greed monger rich which keeps all the money for themselves and is destroying the very fabric of society which is the traditional American Family which for all practical purposes has ceased to exist now for decades.

    3. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “We are breeding a new generation of children that are totally against gun ownership…”

      You heard wrong, sport.

      The Millennials are among the most pro-gun rights in history.

      They are also *highly* skeptical of the people who say they can’t or shouldn’t have guns…

      1. avatar cisco kid says:

        What fantasy world do you live in Jethro because only 36 per cent of Americans even own guns anymore. Children today play video games and do not even go out to play physical games anymore as the generations of the 40’s and 50’s did. Go to any gun show and all you see is aging and dying grey bearded old men. I have been to some gun shows were I have seen not one person under 60 years of age.

        In the 1960’s just about every kid in my area went hunting during small game season and the high schools were almost deserted on the first day of small game season. Today you see only a few that take off for the first day of the hunting seasons showing how dramatically hunting and gun ownership has fallen out of favor with the majority of the population. The hunter is a dying bread as most lands have been posted and the cost of hunting has reached the point where even the older generation has given up on it. Most worker slaves get no holidays or even weekends off anymore even if they wanted to hunt or enjoy the shootings sports and if they did they could not afford to do it as few have any disposable income anymore. Welcome to Capitalvania in the 21st Century.

        Big corporations once gave free permits for us to hunt on there land in Ohio and West Virginia but blind greed made them institute special block concessions that are sold to the super rich who are the only ones that can afford such permits. What few public hunting areas that have not been ate up and used for new shopping malls and suburban sprawl are now so overcrowded that its not safe to even be on them during hunting season. One Vietnam Vet told me he only tried hunting on a public hunting area one time and he was actually shot at more times in one day than his entire tour of Vietnam.

        Yes the gun owner and hunter due to economic reasons was well on his way to extinction even without mass shootings and the super expense that it takes just to buy ammunition anymore.

    4. avatar bobo says:

      the ‘cut and paste’ is strong with this one

      troll on paste covered little boy!

  15. avatar Dan P. says:

    Dean Mellberg 2018 edition.

  16. avatar Tile Floor says:

    “why wasn’t Nikolas Cruz removed from society before he attacked the Parkland, Florida high school?”

    Because its a fine line between freedom and confinement that that approach straddles. Most people on this website are all for small government, particularly when it comes to personal freedoms. People on here (myself included) went nuts at the notion of people on the terrorist watch list having their rights restricted or removed without due process.

    An involuntary committal, at least in my state, begins with a certified crisis worker pulling in about 40k a year making a determination over the phone on whether or not the police should put the person into emergency custody. They have to represent a threat to themselves or others. Then the police handcuff them, search them, and transport them to a mental health facility for evaluation. This process has an 8 hour window in which to occur before the emergency custody expires.
    During that 8 hour the mental health professional does an evaluation. They speak to the person in question along with close friends and family who may have concerns about the person’s mental health. When the crisis worker deems it necessary to commit the person to an institution, he calls the magistrate who rubber stamps a committal order and off they go, again in handcuffs, against their will, to a mental health institution in the state, which could be several hours away.

    My point to this is, how far do you want to lower that threshold to “remove him from society?” Also if you are involuntarily committed to an institution, your gun rights are gone, *poof*. We can bleat about mental health all we want but to lower the standard any further is borderline hypocrisy.

    So what is the answer? It’s not more gun control, I can tell you that. Target hardening would help, arming school staff, etc. But locking people up in mental institutions left and right is not the answer unless there is undeniable proof that they have the means to follow through.

    *ducks*

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