Florida school shooting suspect’s brother held on $500,000 bail
A Florida judge ordered the brother of suspected high school shooter Nikolas Cruz to be held on $500,000 bail for a trespassing charge after prosecutors on Tuesday said he had visited the campus three times since the Feb. 14 massacre.
Zachary Cruz, 18, told deputies he went to the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, to “reflect on the school shooting and to soak it in,” according to the arrest report.
During Cruz’s court appearance on Tuesday, a Broward County prosecutor said school officials had told him to stay away from the campus, where his brother killed 17 people last month.
“Weeks after his brother murdered, injured and terrorized the school, he is there with no legitimate purpose,” Assistant State Attorney Sarahnell Murphy said of Zachary Cruz.
Murphy said Cruz currently lived with a guardian in a nearby county but gave a false address to police.
She said he had visited his brother in jail, “where he has been heard and observed discussing how popular his brother is now, that his face is everywhere and his name is national.”
A defense lawyer assigned to Zachary Cruz said he was not a danger to the community.
“He is being held because of who he is related to, not because of what he did,” attorney Joseph Kimok said.
Judge Kim Theresa Mollica ordered Cruz to be fitted with an ankle monitor should he post bail and told him to stay at least a mile away from the high school in Parkland.
She instructed him not to have any contact with his brother or any students or employees at the school.
Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Dan Grebler