The family that took in the Florida school shooter after his adoptive mother passed away say they had no idea there was a “monster living under our roof.”
They also say he was "nothing like they portray in television or in the media."
“We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know,” Kimberly Snead, a neonatal intensive care nurse, told the Sun Sentinel. “We didn’t see this side of him.”
“Everything everybody seems to know, we didn’t know,” said James Snead, an Army veteran. “It’s as simple as that.”
The Sneads described 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz as “immature, quirky and depressed,” according to the local newspaper. He moved in with the Sneads after their son asked whether they could take in his friend last Thanksgiving. His adoptive mother had died of pneumonia Nov. 1.
During the few months that Cruz lived under their roof, they tried to get him counseling for his adoptive mother's death.
"Five days before the shooting, Kimberly Snead took Cruz to the office of a therapist she has been seeing," reports the Sun Sentinel. "Cruz said he was open to therapy but didn’t like medication. He took a business card and was figuring out what his health insurance would cover."
They also recommended he enlist in adult education classes run by the Parkland school district because he lacked basic skills like how to use a microwave, how to drive and how to cook.
A couple that grew up around guns and were comfortable with them, the Sneads knew Cruz, a hunter, had guns and required him to place them in a gun safe the day he moved in.
He also had knives, BB guns and pellet guns.
They told Cruz that they had strict rules in their home and that if he wanted anything out of the safe, he would need to ask permission first.
The Sneads said Cruz was "polite," “followed every rule to the T,” and that there was nothing strange about the night before the shooting that left 17 people dead and at least 14 people injured. He just ate dinner and went to bed around 8 p.m.
The day of the shooting, Valentine’s Day, Cruz told them that he wouldn’t be going to school because of the holiday. He said he would be going fishing instead.
The Sneads said that Cruz was lonely and badly wanted to have a girlfriend, so they didn’t think anything unusual with his not wanting to go to school.
After the shooting had taken place, Kimberly and James were brought in by SWAT to the Broward Sheriff’s headquarters. There, they were reunited with their son who attends the high school where the shooting took place.
Cruz had texted the Sneads' son while he was on his way to Stoneman Douglas High School, saying he had “something important” he wanted to tell the teen.
During the shooting, the Sneads' son called his parents to tell them he was safe. He had helped classmates flee by climbing a fence to neighboring Westglades middle school.
He was brought in to be questioned by investigators whether he was involved, which they soon figured out he wasn't.
As the Sneads waited for their son, Cruz was led into the building.
“As they waited, Cruz was led in to the building, handcuffed and wearing a hospital gown, surrounded by deputies,” writes the Sun Sentinel. “Kimberly tried to run at him, James held her back.”
Kimberly yelled at Cruz, asking “Really, Nik? Really?”
“He said he was sorry. He apologized. He looked lost, absolutely lost,” said James. “And that was the last time we saw him.”
Cruz appeared in court on Monday. He is currently being held in solitary confinement and is on suicide watch.
(Cover Photo: Screenshot)
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