Disgraced Officer Pushed for Cruz Psych Eval in 2016
Scot Peterson recommended Nikolas Cruz be forcibly committed in 2016
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 18, 2018 3:45 PM CDT
Nikolas Cruz is lead out of the courtroom after an arraignment hearing   (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, Pool, File)

(Newser) – Officials were so concerned about the mental stability of the student accused of last month's Florida school massacre that they decided he should be forcibly committed. But the recommendation was never acted upon. A commitment under the law would have made it more difficult if not impossible for Cruz to obtain a gun legally. Cruz is accused of the shooting rampage that killed 14 students and three school employees at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14. But more than a year earlier, documents in the criminal case against Nikolas Cruz and obtained by the AP show school officials and a sheriff's deputy recommended in September 2016 that Cruz be involuntarily committed for a mental evaluation.

The documents, which are part of Cruz's criminal case in the shooting, show that he had written the word "kill" in a notebook, told a classmate that he wanted to buy a gun and use it, and had cut his arm supposedly in anger because he had broken up with a girlfriend. He also told another student he had drunk gasoline and was throwing up. Calls had even been made to the FBI about the possibility of Cruz using a gun at school. Coincidentally, the school resource officer who recommended that Cruz be "Baker Acted" was Scot Peterson—the same Broward Sheriff's Office deputy who resigned amid accusations he failed to respond to the shooting by staying outside the building where the killings occurred. Cruz, 19, is charged in a 34-count indictment with killing 17 people and wounding 17 others in the attack. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
5%
18%
43%
2%
17%
13%