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Brother Of Florida Shooter Arrested For Trespassing At Stoneman Douglas High

Zachary Cruz crying as his brother, Nikolas Cruz is arraigned in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Zachary Cruz crying as his brother, Nikolas Cruz is arraigned in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The brother of the suspect in the killings of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., was arrested Monday for trespassing at the same site.

According to a police report quoted by the Miami Herald, "Defendant Cruz stated that he unlawfully entered the school property to 'reflect on the shooting and to soak it in ..."

Zachary Cruz, 18, had been warned to stay away from the campus, the Herald reported. The police report said that Cruz was spotted on campus at about 4:30 p.m. after the school day was over and students had been dismissed.

"Defendant Cruz surpassed all locked doors and gates and proceeded to ride his skateboard through school grounds," a deputy wrote in his arrest report.

Zachary Cruz's arrest comes just about a month after his brother, Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly shot and killed 14 students and 3 staff members at the Parkland school. Nikolas Cruz could face the death penalty.

The Sun Sentinel reports that Zachary has been living with a family friend since his mother, Lynda Cruz, died in November 2017.

The Sun Sentinel added that Zachary had admitted to Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies that he and his friends had bullied his brother, Nikolas, when they were younger.

"'I don't want to be alive. I don't want to deal with this stuff,' Zachary Cruz told Deschamps on the night of the shooting, according to a report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

"Two days after the shooting Zachary Cruz told a deputy that he felt 'somewhat responsible and guilty about the incident and that he could have possibly prevented [it],' that report said. He also told the deputy that he 'doesn't understand why his brother would have done this.'"

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Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.