Parkland school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz talks about his guns in newly released video from after his arrest.
NAPLES, Fla. — Florida prosecutors released the video confession Wednesday of a teenager suspected of killing 17 people at a Parkland high school, revealing the chilling words of a troubled former student who said he heard voices in his head that told him to “burn, kill, destroy.”
Nikolas Cruz, 19, told a detective that the voices in his head began after his father died, and worsened after his mother died of pneumonia, just months before the rampage.
Cruz also told police during the interview, conducted right after his arrest for shooting his classmates at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, that the voices told him to buy a gun.
The video’s release follows the release of a lengthy transcript of Cruz’s police interrogation. Authorities in Broward County released the video, although some portions were censored.
Cruz is being held without bail on murder charges for the shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland. Florida courts ruled last month that the public is entitled to access official records in the case, but agreed not to allow release of information directly related to Cruz’s confession.
The Public Records Unit of the State Attorney’s Office said the release has excerpts from 13 hours of interviews with Cruz after the carnage of Feb. 14. In an email Tuesday, the office said it was still redacting the video.
Defense lawyers have acknowledged that Cruz was the killer and have focused efforts on eluding execution. In a heavily redacted, 217-page transcript of the interviews released Monday, Cruz said he heard voices in his head since the death of his father.
Cruz was 5 years old when he watched his father, Roger, die of a heart attack. Nikolas Cruz said the voices grew stronger after his mother died of pneumonia in November 2017 – less than four months before the deadly attack.
“The voice is in here,” he said in an apparent reference to his own head. “And then it’s me. It’s just regular me trying to be a good person.”
Cruz asked the detective to call a psychologist. When the detective asked him what he wanted to talk to a psychologist about, Cruz said, “To find out what’s wrong with me.”
Detective John Curcio did most of the talking. Most of Cruz’s answers were very short. Cruz told the detective he bought his first gun at 18 and collected three shotguns, an AR-15, a handgun and an AK-47. Cruz told the detective he bought guns to protect himself from the voice and also kept the guns locked up to keep the voice from getting to them.
He estimated he spent about $4,000 on firearms and ammunition. His mother had taken him to buy some of the guns, the transcript states.
The detective asked him whether his mom questioned purchasing so many guns. Cruz said he told her they were for his protection and because they looked “cool.”
Twice when Curcio left the room Cruz cursed himself, muttering that he deserved to die. Cruz told the detectives multiple times he was lonely, had no friends and was afraid of girls. Curcio asked him if the voice was like an imaginary friend.
“Almost, yes,” Cruz said.
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