Authorities are using a new controversial Florida gun law to prevent the Parkland Shooter’s younger brother, Zachary Cruz, from having access to guns. A “red flag” risk protection order request from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office indicates that Cruz trespassed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at least three times since the shooting occurred.
• It isn’t clear whether authorities believe Cruz may pose a threat to the school like his brother or whether he was simply visiting and socializing. We do know that Zachary Cruz has an extensive criminal record involving multiple run-ins with the law.
• After being arrested, Zachary appeared in front of the judge via video conferencing technology. Despite the fact that the average bail for misdemeanor trespassing is just $25, the judge set the boy’s bail at $500,000. Originally, prosecutors had requested $750,000, but this was denied.
• Zachary Cruz was also ordered to wear an ankle bracelet and stay at least one mile away from the school at all times. The judge also instituted a no contact order between the two brothers.
• The judge also approved the controversial request to search Cruz’s home for guns and remove them from his possession, if found. He must also undergo a full psychological evaluation and refrain from owning or handling guns for the foreseeable future.
• When questioned directly about his intentions at the school, Zachary said only that he wanted to “reflect on the school shooting and soak it in.” according to an arrest report. Despite the seemingly innocent intentions, he did manage to get through multiple locked doors and gates to gain access to the inner campus.
• The school has denied suggestions of a security breach, instead revealing that Cruz has been advised to stay away from the school multiple times. The school intends to push forward with prosecution by following the charges through.
• Zachary has advised local authorities no less than twice that he has strong feelings about his brother’s behavior and the shooting. In at least one case, he advised the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office that he did not “want to be alive” and doesn’t “want to deal with this stuff.” He also told authorities that someone was “coming to get him” during an interview, although it wasn’t clear exactly what that meant.
• The controversial new red flag law gives police the power to not only search Cruz’s home, but remove any and all guns in the house. If he is caught in possession of a gun, he may face further charges.
• As for Cruz’s brother, the Parkland shooter, he remains in custody with law enforcement. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty on the basis that the incident was “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.”