Family on Fla. Suspect: 'We Had Monster Living Under Our Roof'

Kimberly and James Snead said they had no idea Nikolas Cruz was allegedly capable of Parkland shooting
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2018 12:00 PM CST
Family on Fla. Suspect: 'We Had Monster Living Under Our Roof'
Flowers are placed near unretrieved bicycles outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

On Friday, the family that was housing Parkland suspect Nikolas Cruz wasn't ready to speak out about him, with a "visibly emotional Kimberly Snead" telling the New York Post to respect her family's privacy. On Saturday, however, both Snead and her husband, James, spoke to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, revealing their distress and bafflement at how everything went so wrong. "We had this monster living under our roof and we didn't know," Kimberly Snead said, with James Snead adding, "Everything everybody seems to know, we didn't know. It's as simple as that." The Sneads, who took in Cruz after his mother died in November—he'd initially been staying with another family, but left due to arguments over his guns and money issues, the Sneads believe—say they laid down "strict" house rules for Cruz, which he followed.

The Sneads also say they made him keep his guns in a locked safe and ask for permission when he wanted to take them out, which was only twice. They thought they had the only key to the gun safe, but James Snead now thinks Cruz may have somehow come across an extra. They add that although he was very depressed after his mother's death, he was polite and seemed to be regaining his spirits. They also note he seemed to be lacking in basic life skills: He didn't know how to do laundry, make himself meals, drive, or even how to use a microwave. Meanwhile, the Palm Beach Post reports that a person believed to be Cruz's younger brother, who was still staying with the first family he and Cruz had moved in with after their mother died, was taken from that home to a mental health facility on Friday. The Sneads detail the day of the shooting from their perspective here. (More Nikolas Cruz stories.)

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