- Reuters/Mike Stocker
- Local police in Florida had three encounters with Nikolas Cruz, the confessed mass shooter who killed 17 people at high school last week, in just a three-week span.
- In a 911 tape recording from November 2017, Cruz told police he was struggling with the death of his mother.
- Roxanne Deschamps, who was temporarily hosting Cruz at her home after his mother died, told police she was scared because “all [Cruz] cares about is his gun.”
About three months before Nikolas Cruz allegedly murdered 17 people at Florida high school, he told 911 dispatchers from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office that he was struggling with the recent death of his mom, according to 911 recordings obtained by the Miami Herald.
“I lost my mother a couple days ago and I’m dealing with some things right now,” Cruz said. “I kind of got mad and started punching walls.”
Cruz, who was temporarily living with a family friend in Palm Beach County, reportedly grew frustrated after misplacing a photo of his mother and began punching walls. When the son of the owner of the home tried to calm him down, Cruz began punching him, the Herald reported.
“There was a fight in my house. A kid and my son,” Roxanne Deschamps, the owner of the home, told police when she called 911. “But I need somebody here because I’m afraid he comes back and he has a lot of weapons.”
Local police had three separate encounters with Cruz in just three weeks he spent living with Deschamps in Lantana, a small town about ten miles south of West Palm Beach.
Deschamps, who said she forbid Cruz from bringing weapons and ammunition in her home, repeatedly expressed her fears of Cruz possessing firearms.
“Because that’s all he wants is his gun,” Deschamps told police, according to the Herald. “That’s all he cares about is his gun, and he bought tons of ammunition, bullets and stuff, and I took it away from him.”
In the days since the February 14 shooting, local law-enforcement agencies have come under fire come under fire by critics who say they didn’t act on multiple warning signs about Cruz. Police had apparently visited Cruz’s home dozens of times in recent years, and he was said to have often exhibited violent behavior.
On Thursday Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said an armed deputy stationed at the school during the shooting “never went in” to confront Cruz. That deputy has since resigned.
The Broward County Sheriff’s office has placed two other deputies on restricted duty after their involvement in previous calls about Cruz.
The FBI also failed to adequately address a tip it received from a caller in January to warn that Cruz was “going to explode” and “get into a school and just shoot the place up.”
Listen to the 911 calls from Deschamps and Cruz below: