Summary: Nikolas Cruz’s attorney said that the Parkland shooter is on suicide watch in jail.
On February 14, a troubled 19-year-old walked into his former high school with an assault rifle and shot and killed 17 students and staff. That gunman, Nikolas Cruz, was arrested after the massacre, and according to the New York Post, he has been “smiling and giggling” in jail on some days and has also been restless at night.
These observations were made days after Cruz was arrested and confessed to planning the school shooting, which was one of the deadliest in U.S. history.
Prior to Valentine’s Day, Cruz was expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida for misconduct; and authorities said that he had been reported for violent behavior several times before the tragedy.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas students said that they were not surprised Cruz had been the suspect because of his past interactions.
Deputies at Broward County Jail said that Cruz is restless at night, but they noted that on February 17 and February 24 he smiled and laughed while in isolation.
“[He] appeared to break out in laughter both during and immediately following his professional visit at 1848 hours and later at 1910 hours,” a deputy wrote after he observed Cruz on the 17th.
Cruz is housed in a single person cell away from the general population because of his notoriety, CNN said. The Parkland shooting sparked a national gun reform debate, which was led by Cruz’s surviving victims such as Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg; and the Parkland students’ call for gun reform has resulted in major retailers such as Wal-Mart and Dick’s Sporting Goods to change their firearm policies. Their protests have also prompted Congress to pass a school safety bill.
Deputies said that Cruz is “well-groomed” and “quiet” in jail, and when he spoke with his lawyers on February 23, he seemed “coherent” during their chat and even was “smiling and giggling.”
The deputies said on multiple days Cruz has had trouble sleeping and that he tosses and turns in his bed at night. They said that sometimes he will stare blankly into space during the day.
Cruz is represented by attorney Gordon Weekes who said to not read too much into what the deputies have observed about his client.
“They are snippets, observations from corrections officers and are not clinical impressions made by his treating psychologist or psychiatrist at the jail. They don’t show a complete picture,” Weekes said. “They are generated because Mr. Cruz has a high-profile case and is on suicide watch.”
CNN reported on Wednesday that Cruz was indicted on 34 counts, 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of premeditated murder.
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