Prosecutor Says Cruz's Brother Has 'All the Same Flags'

Cops are trying to block him from possessing a gun
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2018 10:55 AM CDT
Zachary Cruz, center, makes his first appearance on trespassing charges at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Tuesday.   (Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP, Pool)
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(Newser) – A Florida state law passed in the wake of the Parkland school shooting could be used to keep the suspected shooter's brother from getting his hands on a gun. Zachary Cruz, the 18-year-old brother of Nikolas Cruz, was arrested on trespassing charges Monday after he was seen skateboarding at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School about two hours after classes ended, police say, per the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Cruz, who'd been warned to keep away, said he'd made his third visit to the school since his brother allegedly killed 17 people to "reflect on the ... shooting," say police. At a Tuesday hearing, however, prosecutors said the teen had "all the same flags" as his brother, seemed to admire his sibling's renown, and talked of starting a pen pal or fan club.

Though a $25 bond is typical with a trespassing charge, the judge set bond at $500,000. Should Cruz post bail, he must wear an ankle monitor and keep away from the school and his brother, whom he's visited in jail, per CNN. BuzzFeed News reports he'll also undergo a mental health evaluation. Authorities, meanwhile, are seeking a risk protection order, made possible with a law signed by Gov. Rick Scott last week. Applied in cases of involuntary mental health assessments, the order would allow authorities to temporarily seize firearms in Cruz's possession and block him from acquiring new ones. Cruz's attorney, Joseph Kimok, said Tuesday "the state has been seeking to make a show of this," per the Sun Sentinel. Cruz "is being held because of who he's related to, not because of anything he did."

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