BREAKING NEWS Bear Fire: 1,046 homes destroyed, 56% containment in West Zone of North Complex Full Story

Zachary Cruz says failure to stop Parkland shooting 'haunts me'

The brother of the gunman who killed 17 students and adults at a Parkland, Florida, school announced the launch of an...

Posted: Jun 15, 2018 4:05 AM
Updated: Jun 15, 2018 4:05 AM

The brother of the gunman who killed 17 students and adults at a Parkland, Florida, school announced the launch of an anti-bullying campaign on Thursday that he says could prevent the next mass tragedy.

"Every day and every night I think to myself how this could have been prevented and it haunts me," Zachary Cruz,18, said on Thursday. "Yet life is not about the past. Life is about where you are and where you're going. Me, I've decided that it isn't too late to prevent the next Parkland, the next Santa Fe, or the next Columbine."

The organization, called We Isolate No-one: The Zachary Cruz Foundation to End Bullying, is backed by Nexus Services, a legal rights group that has been assisting Cruz.

The announcement comes four months after Cruz's brother Nikolas used an AR-15-style rifle to carry out one of the worst mass shootings in American history. Nikolas Cruz is awaiting trial on murder charges, and Zachary Cruz did not say much about him on Thursday.

"I cannot stand here today and defend my brother or make excuses for him," Cruz said at a news conference in Washington. "His story is complicated, tragic and can be told elsewhere."

The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School led to a renewed critical focus on US gun laws. Parkland survivors and gun control advocates pushed to limit access to firearms in the wake of the shooting, while pro-gun advocates, including President Donald Trump, said teachers should be allowed to carry their own firearms to stop a shooter.

However, Zachary Cruz said the issue was not about guns at all, but about bullying.

"We can't solve this with new rules or laws alone. We can't solve this problem with more teachers or more staff. We can't solve this problem by making it harder to buy guns. We can't solve this problem by giving guns to teachers," Cruz said. "The only way to solve this problem is for kids to stand up and end bullying in our schools."

Cruz has previously said he believes bullying contributed to the Parkland shooting.

"Because my brother didn't really fit in with a lot of people and I saw the effects of that, like, firsthand," Zachary Cruz told CNN affiliate WPEC last month. "It's a real issue, so I just want to try to change that."

In statements to investigators after the shooting, Zachary Cruz said he bullied his brother when they were younger, according to a sheriff's report.

Cruz has had his own legal issues connected to the aftermath of the shooting. He was arrested in March on a misdemeanor trespassing charge for skateboarding at Stoneman Douglas High School. For that minor offense, Cruz's bail was set at $500,000 and he was sentenced to six months probation.

He later filed a lawsuit against Broward County officials, accusing them of violating his Eighth Amendment rights and claiming he was tortured while in jail. Cruz moved from south Florida to Virginia last month in hopes of a fresh start, he said last month. Nexus Services is assisting Cruz in his lawsuit and relocation in Virginia.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 786168

Reported Deaths: 15016
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2607976353
Riverside566811153
San Bernardino52471908
Orange520631128
San Diego44577760
Kern31379354
Fresno27668355
Sacramento21297375
Alameda20558374
Santa Clara20410296
San Joaquin19793414
Stanislaus16319335
Contra Costa15837199
Tulare15599256
Ventura12328143
Imperial11558314
San Francisco1074599
San Mateo9522143
Monterey946767
Santa Barbara8862110
Merced8750134
Kings728377
Sonoma7060114
Marin6557112
Solano608555
Madera429658
Placer346641
San Luis Obispo336927
Butte274835
Yolo274754
Santa Cruz22188
Sutter164210
Napa161413
San Benito130111
Yuba11187
El Dorado10684
Mendocino84918
Lassen7310
Shasta68714
Glenn5503
Colusa5096
Nevada5066
Tehama4984
Humboldt4826
Lake46510
Calaveras31114
Amador28616
Tuolumne2214
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1610
Del Norte1361
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc240
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Scattered Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 63°
Oroville
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 75°
Paradise
Scattered Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 63°
Chester
Clear
38° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 38°
Red Bluff
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 62°
Willows
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 66°
Heat and haze were on the menu today but a cool-down is in the works for next week.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events