Couple Will 'Forever Regret' Taking in Nikolas Cruz

'We were particularly wrong to allow him to store his firearms in our house'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 29, 2020 1:40 PM CDT
Couple Sorry for Taking in Alleged School Shooter
In this Feb. 17, 2018 photo, Kimberly and James Snead recount the day of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.   (Susan Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

A Florida couple regrets ever taking in a disturbed teenager in the months before he allegedly carried out the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In a letter that is part of a legal agreement to settle numerous civil lawsuits, James and Kimberly Snead said they should have believed what they were told—that Nikolas Cruz, now 21, was homicidal, untrustworthy, and infatuated with firearms, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. "We thought we could handle this troubled young man, unfortunately, we were wrong,” the Sneads said in a public apology revealed Tuesday. "We were particularly wrong to allow him to store his firearms in our house, including the AR-15 used in this tragedy.” The settlement also calls for them to pay $1 to the victims' families and forbids them and their attorney from speaking of or profiting from the story, the AP reports.

Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was killed, said he and other families of the victims pushed for the public apology. "They didn’t want to accept accountability, and we forced it on them. For us, that’s why we’re here. We want accountability." Cruz was 19 when he entered the campus where he once attended classes, carrying an AR-15 rifle, authorities said. He went into the freshman building and killed 14 students, a teacher, a coach and the athletic director, prosecutors said. The teen had been living with the Sneads for about 2.5 months. He was orphaned when his mother died in 2017, and the Sneads were parents of one of his casual friends. They still say they thought Cruz’s guns were secure in a locked cabinet and only they had the key. In the letter, the Sneads said they "will forever regret” taking in Cruz.

(More Nikolas Cruz stories.)

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