Months before Nikolas Cruz carried out one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history at a Florida high school, police were called to the mobile home where he was staying after police said he threatened a family friend.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office just after Thanksgiving responded to an emergency call coming from the home in Lantana, where Cruz and his brother were staying with family friends after their mother, Lynda, died earlier in November, according to a police report published by WPLG.
Cruz, 19, had gotten into a fight with Rock Deschamps, the 22-year old son of Lynda Cruz’s friend, Rocxanne Deschamps. Rock called 911 after he and Cruz got into a physical fight.
Rock told police Cruz “began punching walls and breaking items inside the home.” When Rock approached Cruz and tried to calm him down, Cruz punched him in the jaw.
In self-defense, Rock said he punched Cruz back and restrained the 19-year-old — before he ran from the mobile home to a nearby park, where the responding deputy met him.
Cruz, the deputy wrote in his report, “appeared nervous and calm” and said he was upset because he misplaced a photo of his recently deceased mother, and apologized for his behavior.
Rock told police he didn’t want Cruz arrested, as he had “been going through a lot with his loss,” among other things.
Rocxanne told the 911 dispatcher that Cruz “bought a gun from Dick’s last week and is now going to pick it up,” according to the 911 call log, which was also published by WPLG. She added Cruz had “bought tons of ammo,” “used a gun against (people) before” and "has put the gun to others [sic] heads in the past.”
The published police report is another sign that Cruz flew off the radar of law enforcement. While the Sneads family, with whom Cruz stayed after leaving the Deschamps, said there were no warning signs of Cruz’s impending shooting rampage, Cruz had been reported to the FBI, local law enforcement and school officials before the Feb. 14 attack.