Less than two-days after 19-year old gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire at a south Florida high school killing seventeen people, new details are emerging about the suspect’s troubled past; including revelations that local police were dispatched to Cruz’s home at least 39 separate times.
According to the New York Post, the Broward County Sheriff’s Department responded to 39 incidents at the gunman’s residence over the previous seven years; saying the “nature of the emergencies” varied from “child/elderly abuse” to suspicion of a “mentally ill person” on the premises.
Cruz confessed to the mass shooting earlier this week, with his public defender describing the former student as a “deeply disturbed, emotionally broken” juvenile.
“He’s gone through a lot in a very short period of time and that does not minimize the loss of those families, but we have to put that into the proper light,” the defender said. “He is suffering from significant mental illness and significant trauma and he has some very difficult decisions to make shortly and we’re going to assist him with those decisions.”
The recent revelations raise serious questions over how a “deeply disturbed” youth who claimed on social media he wanted to become a “professional school shooter” slipped through the cracks.
On Thursday, the FBI admitted they received a tip from a YouTube user over Cruz’s alleged comments on social media, but were “unable” to determine the individual’s “true identity.”