Palm Beach County sheriff says deputies properly handled Nikolas Cruz 911 call

Skyler Swisher, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Political News

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw says he's "completely satisfied" his deputies appropriately handled a disturbance involving Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz just months before he killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

"We did look at the fact we had some contact with Mr. Cruz on some prior incidents -- none of which had any indications of the fact that he was going to be engaged in what he did," Bradshaw said during a news conference Friday. "They were merely what we call ordinary domestic disturbances."

Bradshaw said he is commissioning an outside review of the office's policies by the Police Executive Research Forum, an organization of police executives. The review, which is being done for free by the firm, aims to improve information-sharing with other agencies and strengthen policies to prevent mass shootings, Bradshaw said.

Cruz, 19, lived at Lantana Cascade, a mobile home community in Palm Beach County, for about a month in November. He lived with Roxanne Deschamps, who had agreed to care for Cruz after his mother's death, before moving in with another family in Parkland.

On Feb. 14, Cruz took an Uber to Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire.

Just 2 1/2 months before, Cruz became enraged after misplacing a photograph of his mother, according to a Nov. 28 report released by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

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Deschamps told a 911 dispatcher that the teenager was dangerous and possibly had buried a gun in the backyard.

Deschamps said Cruz punched her 22-year-old son, Rock, when he tried to calm him down. She told 911 she was worried Cruz was going to pick up a gun at Dick's Sporting Goods and return to harm the family.

"He put the gun on the head of his brother before, so not the first time, and he did that to his mom. ... It's not the first time he's put a gun on somebody's head," she said.

The family did not want Cruz to be charged, and he was not arrested, records show. He reconciled with Deschamps' son, Bradshaw said.


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