Parkland shooter's mother allowed him to buy the AR-15 used in the massacre even though mental health counselors told her not to
- Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly shot dead 17 high school students with an AR-15 rifle
- The gun was bought legally and his mother Lynda said she 'didn't care' if he had it
- Counselors told her he shouldn't have a gun and tried 140 times to help him
- Ms Cruz interfered at every turn and prevented her son getting help he needed
By Nic White For Mailonline
Published: 10:31 EDT, 11 July 2018 | Updated: 12:18 EDT, 11 July 2018
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz's mother was an 'enabler' who 'didn't care' if her son had a gun, even though experts said he shouldn't.
The 19-year-old legally bought the AR-15 assault rifle he allegedly used to gun down 17 kids at Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day.
Numerous counselors tried to help the troubled teen, who had a developmental age of three and behavioral and emotional issues since middle school.
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz's mother was an 'enabler' who 'didn't care' if her son had a gun, even though experts said he shouldn't, a hearing heard
But they were blocked at every turn by his mother Lynda Cruz, who died of pneumonia three months before the massacre.
'His mother was an enabler, and his mother contributed to this significantly,' Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told a committee investigating the shooting.
'To the point where at one time when they said that he wanted to buy a gun and the counselors from the school said he shouldn't have a gun, his mother said, 'I don't care. If he wants a gun, he can have a gun.'
Sheriff Gualtieri, who leads the committee, said mental health and school counselors contacted Ms Cruz about 140 times but she often interfered.
'This is not a situation where there wasn't yeoman's work being done by a whole bunch of people to try and get this guy off the path that he was on,' he said.
'But it just wasn't being effective.'
'His mother was an enabler, and his mother contributed to this significantly,' Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told a committee investigating the shooting
The 19-year-old legally bought the AR-15 assault rifle he allegedly used to gun down 17 kids at Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day
An investigator from the Florida Department of Children and Families visited Cruz on September 28, 2016, after he posted a video to Snapchat of him cutting himself.
He wrote n****r and a Nazi symbol on his book bag, which his mother made him rub off, and was on medication for depression, the investigator reported.
Cruz also told his mother he planned to buy a gun, but she didn't know why.
Sheriff Gualtieri also insisted the Promise program Cruz was sent to after he smashed a sink in the boy's bathroom at school had no link to the shooting.
He said the program didn't 'fail' Cruz and even if he didn't attend the three-day diversion it wouldn't have stopped him buying the gun.
'It would never in any way, shape, form, would've affected his ability to buy that AR-15, to buy the shotguns, to buy anything else, to possess them,' he said.
'It's completely irrelevant, it's a rabbit hole, it's a red herring, it's immaterial, and that's why we're taking it off the table.'
Numerous counselors tried to help the troubled teen, who had a developmental age of three and behavioral and emotional issues since middle school
Sheriff Gualtieri said even if Cruz was charged with a misdemeanor for the damage, the maximum penalty would have been community service.
'Even if you assume that he should've received the maximum of everything, it is irrelevant, it's immaterial to what happened on Feb. 14, and it wouldn't have changed the outcome one bit,' he said.
'Quite frankly I don't think this event in and of itself, breaking a handle on a faucet, had anything to do at all with the mass shooting.'
The commission will on Thursday discuss his mental health treatment in a closed session as his medical records are legally protected.
Broward school district lawyers are also trying to publicly release a report that includes Cruz's official school records, but the teen's lawyers are arguing to block it.
PICTURED: Fourteen students, geography teacher, coach and athletic director shot dead in Florida high school massacre
Jaime Guttenberg, 14, (left) was described by relatives as a 'kind-hearted, sweet' girl. She attended the school with her younger brother who survived and rushed home afterwards. Senior Nicholas Dworet (right) was a gifted swimmer who had his sights set on 2020 Tokyo Olympics success. His devastated college student girlfriend is among those grieving his death. Friends said he was not just a talented athlete, but a 'good guy' who will be missed
Martin Duque, 14, (left) was missing for hours on Wednesday and his frantic family desperately appealed for him to get in touch on social media. On Thursday, his older brother Miguel confirmed his death. Martin was a freshman. Meadow Pollack, 18, (right) was preparing for college. Her father was at the school on Wednesday and showed her photograph around in the hope that she would be found alive
Cara Loughran (left) was missing on Wednesday afternoon. Her mother Denise and her father rushed to the designated hotel where parents were told to go to be reunited with their children in the hope that she would be found alive. Her grieving neighbor confirmed her death on Thursday. Alyssa Alhadeff, 15, (right) was eulogized by her mother who said she was a talented soccer player and creative mind. 'All she had to offer the world was love... I just sent her to school and she was shot and killed,' she said
Luke Hoyer, 15, (left) was described as a 'precious' child by his grandparents who confirmed his death. They found out about the shooting on television. They said he was a 'good kid' who 'never got in trouble'. Joaquin Oliver, 17, (right) was also killed. Joaquin was a Venezuelan immigrant who came to the US with his family for a 'better future', they said on Thursday
Gina Montalto, 15, (left) was described as a 'light and joy'. She and Jaime, another victim, volunteered at a local project called The Friendship Initiative where they acted as buddies for children with special needs. Gina's mother Jennifer shared pleas to find her on social media on Wednesday. Alaina Petty, 14, (right) was also killed. Her Mormon church confirmed her death, saying she was a 'valiant' member
Carmen Schentrup, 16, (left) was also killed in the shooting. Carmen was a gifted student who last year was named as a semifinalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. It includes students who score above average in their SATs or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. ROTC student Peter Wang, 15, (right) also died. His parents speak little English and relied on their neighbor to post social media appeals looking for him. They went to the Marriott hotel with other parents to wait for news of him on Wednesday night and have since confirmed that he was among those killed
Alex Schachter, 14, (left) was also killed. His mother died when he was a child and he attended the school in Florida with his brother, who survived. The teenager's father Max said he was a 'sweetheart of a child' who 'just wanted to do well and please his parents'. Helena Ramsey, 17, (right) was described by relatives as a 'reserved' and studious girl who was due to go to college next year
Geography Scott Beigel, 35, (left) was shot dead as he tried to lock the door of his classroom again after letting a group of fleeing students in to hide. They were running away from the gunman. Aaron Feis, 37, (right) died acting as a human shield. The track coach had thrown himself on top of the kids to stop the bullets from hitting him. He was a former student and was also a security guard at the school where he had worked for eight years
Athletic director Chris Hixon, 49, was also killed shielding students