'He was always getting into trouble,' former neighbor says about Nikolas Cruz

Neighbor says police were often called to Cruz's home

By Ian Margol - Reporter, Roy Ramos - Reporter

PARKLAND, Fla. - A man who used to live in the same neighborhood as Parkland school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz said the young man was always getting into trouble and police were often at the home.

"Police were there almost every other week. That's kind of how we knew he moved, because police stopped showing up there. He was always getting into trouble," Brody Speno said. 

The neighborhood on Loxahatchee Road was quiet Friday as investigators continued to comb through Cruz's life leading up to Wednesday’s attack.

Another young man who used to live near Cruz and also work with him at a Dollar Tree store said the two were both gun enthusiasts, but he never thought Cruz would carry out a school shooting.

He said looking back, there were some warning signs that he didn't notice then. 

"He started talking about tactics and, you know, at the time I didn't think anything of it, because he didn't come across as that type of kid. I just thought, OK, he's just really into it," Brian Halen said.   

On Thursday, federal agents visited a gun store in Coral Springs where, on Feb.  11, 2017, Cruz legally purchased an AR-15 rifle, which he used in the attack.

He went back a week later to bring the weapon home.

"On Feb. 18, 2017, Mr. Cruz returned to Sunrise Tactical Supply and actually picked up this AR 15 with a magazine," attorney Stuart Kaplan, who represents the owners of the gun shop, said. 

Kaplan said had the owners known Cruz was capable of carrying out what he did, they never would have sold him the weapon.

But there may have been hints at what was to come just a few months later.

In September 2017, a Mississippi bail bondsman told FBI agents that he found a comment on his YouTube channel saying, "I’m going to become a professional school shooter." The post was made by a user named Nikolas Cruz.

FBI agents said they looked into it, but couldn't find where the comment originated.

New video also surfaced this week of Cruz holding and pointing what appears to be a pellet gun.

Local 10 learned Friday that Cruz told investigators that he has been hearing voices in his head, which he described as demons, giving him instructions on what to do and how to conduct the attack.

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