New Florida gun law used on brother of Parkland school shooter

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Authorities are trying to restrict Zachary Cruz, the younger brother of Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz, from having access to guns by using a new Florida law that passed in the aftermath of the school massacre.

On Tuesday, Broward County Sheriff’s Office filed for a “red flag” risk protection order that, if granted by a court, would let law enforcement temporarily seize firearms from Zachary Cruz and prevent him from getting new ones.

Zachary Cruz, 18, was arrested Monday in Parkland for trespassing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where his older brother killed 17 people. Cruz had told deputies that it was his third visit to the school since the February 14 shooting, prosecutors said.

On Tuesday, a Florida judge set Cruz’s bond at $500,000 for a misdemeanor trespassing charge and required a psychological evaluation.

Cruz’s defense attorney argued in court that his client was being punished for his brother’s crime with a $500,000 bond, when the amount is usually $25 for misdemeanor trespassing.

On the same day, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office filed the risk protection order to restrict his access to guns using a part of the new Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which went into effect earlier this month.

If the risk protection order is granted, “it will prohibit Cruz from possessing and acquiring firearms for a period of time to be determined by the court,” according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

The law lets a law enforcement officer temporarily seize firearms from someone they’re already taking into custody for an involuntary mental health assessment.

The judge on Tuesday also ruled that deputies will be allowed to search Cruz’s home in Lantana, Florida, for guns.

Questions about after-school security

That Cruz had entered campus for what appeared to be the third time raised questions about safety at Stoneman Douglas.

“It is sort of weird to think about it. Like, we have all this police on campus, and still he got on and was able to skateboard around like that,” student Ryan LoFurno told CNN affiliate WSVN.

According to arrest records, Cruz had “surpassed all locked doors and gates” at the campus despite prior warnings not to enter by school officials, and was arrested around 4:50 p.m. Monday. He has no ties to Broward County, the arrest record noted. He told police he wanted to “reflect on the school shooting and soak it in.”

“Next time he wants to go soak in stuff, he can come to my house,” Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was killed in the school shooting, told WSVN. “I’m not focused on one individual. I’m focused on lots of individuals that shouldn’t be allowed to go onto a school campus.”

The school called parents with a message about new after-school security plans, WSVN reported.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday offered to provide extra security at the school following several unrelated incidents — a deputy was suspended for appearing to fall asleep on duty there, two students were charged for allegedly bringing weapons to campus, and another student for allegedly making a threat of violence on social media.

Zachary Cruz was ordered by the court to wear an ankle monitor. He has also been instructed to have no contact with Stoneman Douglas students or staff, to stay at least a mile away from the school and to have no contact with his brother.

Trademark and Copyright 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News