Some wanted Florida suspect committed in 2016 — APNewsBreak

Frederick Owens
March 20, 2018

Had that recommendation been acted upon, it would have been nearly impossible for Cruz to legally buy the rifle he used to kill 17 people at the school, according to officials.

Officials were so concerned about the mental stability of the student accused of last month's Florida school massacre that they chose to have him forcibly committed more than a year before the shootings. Calls had even been made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the possibility of Cruz using a gun at school.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, has confessed to the February 14 school shooting and faces the death penalty for the murder of 17 and the attempted murder of 17 others.

Cruz is charged with killing 17 people and wounding 17 others.

This is a developing story. Authorities say Cruz, a former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, killing more than a dozen people and injuring several.

He has no ties to Broward County, the arrest report said. The AP reports that Peterson, as the School Resource Officer at the high school, had the ability to involuntarily commit someone under the Baker Act.

Under Florida's Baker Act, involuntary commitment of a person may be initiated by an official, including a judge, mental health physician or law enforcement officer, such as Peterson.

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There is no evidence Cruz was ever committed.

Investigators are still working to determine how Cruz was able to legally purchase an AR-15 rifle previous year, despite numerous red flags.

Broward County schools Superintendent Robert Runcie also confirmed Zachary Cruz's arrest Monday evening. The push to have Cruz committed is new but the documents the AP has seen don't explain why the commitment never happened.

The report of a September 28, 2016 interview read that Cruz "cut his arms 3-4 weeks ago and states that this is the only time he has ever cut".

Prosecutors announced in court filings that they will seek the death penalty. The alleged trespassing was captured on CCTV, the report states.

He also told the clinician he owned only a pellet gun and was not capable of doing "serious harm" to anyone.

It's not clear from the documents who the recommendation was forwarded to or why it was not followed up.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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