Report: School shooter describes emotional struggle in 911 call
Nikolas Cruz had only recently moved in with a family friend weeks after his mother died when he reportedly called 911 to describe a tumultuous encounter with his new host.
In a call obtained by CNN affiliate WPTV, the caller, identified by the station as Cruz, talks about a blowup and being attacked. The man, whose voice is unsteady, says he doesn’t know where he is calling from because he is new to the area.
CNN has not confirmed that the caller was Cruz.
The call was placed shortly after Cruz, 19, and his younger brother moved in with the Deschamps family in Palm Beach County in November, just two months before Cruz killed 17 people at his former South Florida high school.
Cruz’s mother died in November after being diagnosed with pneumonia. Lynda Cruz was a widow raising her two adopted teenage boys in Broward County, according to acquaintances CNN interviewed.
After their mother’s death, Cruz and his younger brother were taken in by Rocxanne Deschamps, a former neighbor who had been close to the family.
On November 28, she called 911 saying that Cruz was distraught and violent after losing a photo of his mother, according to the Palm Beach County deputy’s report and dispatcher notes. She told authorities that Cruz was confronted by her son, Rock, and ran from the home.
Cruz placed a 911 call after he left, WPTV reported.
In it, the caller is heard telling the operator, “I kind of got mad, and I started punching walls and stuff, and then a kid … came at me and threw me on the ground, and he started attacking me, and he kicked me out of the house, and he said he was going to gut me.”
Rocxanne Deschamps told police that Cruz “was going to get his gun and come back,” records show.
The 911 caller tells the operator he’s new to the area, explaining, “The thing is, I lost my mother a couple days ago, so, like, I’m dealing with a bunch of things right now,” WPTV reported.
The Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy who responded spoke to Cruz and Rock Deschamps, who “hugged and reconcile(d) their differences.”
Cruz “said he was sorry for losing his temper,” the deputy wrote in his report.
Rock Deschamps told the deputy that Cruz had been suffering significantly from the loss of his mother and that he didn’t want him to go to jail, only to leave the house until he calmed down. Rock Deschamps signed a form saying he refused to press charges.
The Deschamps declined to comment to CNN.
Not long after the confrontation, Cruz moved in with James and Kimberly Snead in Broward County. He was living there February 14 when he killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Cruz, who police say has confessed to the killings, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.