Judge approves request to confiscate weapons from brother of Parkland gunman

Order carried out under new Florida law passed after mass shooting

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Broward County judge has approved a request from the sheriff's office to confiscate weapons from Zachary Cruz, the brother of Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz.

The order is being carried out under a new state law enacted in response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 people dead and more than a dozen others wounded.

Zachary Cruz was arrested on Monday for trespassing at the school. He had been repeatedly warned not to visit the campus, deputies said.

He is still being held on $500,000 bond at the Broward County Jail in Fort Lauderdale. At a bond hearing on Tuesday, prosecutors said Zachary had disturbing conversations with his brother about the gunman's purported popularity and even starting a fan club.

The request was made after a psychiatric nurse examined Zachary Cruz in jail, according to court records. 

The order found that Zachary Cruz "poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself by having a firearm or ammunition" and was having a "mental health crisis."

It's unclear whether Zachary Cruz currently owns weapons or ammunition.

One of the provisions of the recently enacted school safety law allows authorities to confiscate weapons from people with mental health problems.

Before the shooting, Nikolas Cruz had multiple run-ins with police and school officials, but his interactions with authorities did not prevent him from buying weapons.

Officials had considered involuntarily committing Nikolas Cruz to a mental health facility, but decided against it. If Nikolas Cruz had been committed, it's likely that he would not have been able to purchase the weapons he used in the Stoneman Douglas shooting.

The order on confiscating Zachary Cruz's weapons will be finalized at a hearing on Monday.

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