The younger brother of accused gunman Nikolas Cruz was arrested on Monday for allegedly trespassing on the grounds of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where his brother killed 17 people on Feb. 14.
Zachary Cruz, 18, was arrested about 4:30 p.m. after officials saw him riding his skateboard through the school campus, according to an arrest affidavit.
School officials had previously warned the younger Cruz to stay away from the campus. He reportedly told a Broward County sheriff’s deputy that he decided to visit the school anyway to “reflect on the school shooting and to soak it in,” according to the affidavit.
The affidavit said Zachary Cruz currently has no current ties to Broward County. The Palm Beach Post reports that before the Feb. 14 shootings, the Cruz brothers lived with family friend Roxanne Deschamps in a mobile home near Lantana, in Palm Beach County.
Both Nikolas and Zachary were adopted by Lynda and Roger Cruz when they were infants. Roger died in 2004, and Lynda died of pneumonia in November.
Zachary is a year younger than Nikolas but has admitted to teasing his older brother mercilessly when they were growing up. After the shooting, Zachary said he regretted bullying his older brother and wished he could have prevented the deadly massacre, according to the New York Daily News.
He was also placed under a mental-health evaluation and told investigators that when he heard about the shootings, he said, “I don’t want to be alive. I don’t want to deal with this stuff.” However, he denied wanting to kill or harm himself, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Prosecutors announced last week that they will seek the death penalty against Nikolas Cruz.