A former friend and classmate of Nikolas Cruz says he would follow her around, abuse his girlfriend and even talk about killing his friends' parents, adding to the shocking claims that have emerged about Cruz in the days since the Florida high school shooting.
Ariana Lopez told ABC News on Tuesday she and her friends reported Cruz’s behavior to school officials multiple times between 2016 and 2017. Cruz was eventually expelled from Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School, where he shot and killed 17 last week.
“He talked about killing our parents, our friends, boyfriends and girlfriends,” Lopez said. “He would talk about how he sympathized with Syrian terrorists and that people who opposed them should be killed. He posted pictures of like 15 or more firearms just on his bed. Like this was normal. Like you could even see a hamper in the background. That's how ordinary this was to him."
A 2016 fight involving Cruz on school grounds, and captured on video, was allegedly started over a girl he briefly dated, Lopez said.
“He would hit her. He would threaten her. He would threaten her family and her friends for talking to other guys,” she said.
A Florida Department of Children and Families report filed days after that 2016 incident noted Cruz had behavioral changes because of a recent breakup and that he talked about feeling depressed and wanting to purchase a gun, according to ABC News.
Lopez, who sought refuge in a closet during the shooting last week, also corroborated claims made by another student that Cruz would sell knives to classmates out of his lunchbox.
"He used to sell knives out of his lunchbox, which I thought was insane,” Lopez said. “You can't have knives, this is a school. He would be like, ‘hey guys, want some knives?'"