Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Judge Sets $500K Bond for Brother of Nikolas Cruz for Trespassing at Stoneman Douglas

A judge ordered Zachary to stay a mile away from Stoneman Douglas, take psychological evaluation and have his home searched for guns

What to Know

  • The brother of the accused gunman in the Parkland school shooting has been arrested for allegedly trespassing at the same school.
  • Zachary Cruz told deputies he went to the school to "reflect" on the school shooting and to "soak it in."
  • Seventeen people were shot dead at the school on Feb. 14.

A judge has set bond at $500,000 for the younger brother of suspected school shooter Nikolas Cruz after he was arrested for trespassing at the Florida high school where 17 people were gunned down.

Judge Kim Theresa Mollica set the hefty bond for Zachary Cruz and ordered him to take a psychological evaluation one day after he was arrested for allegedly trespassing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Prosecutor Sarahnell Murphy had sought a $750,000 bond and said he "has all the same flags present as his brother." She also said Cruz did not give his true address when he was arrested.

He must also wear an ankle monitor and will have his Lake Worth home searched for guns and ammunition, Mollica said.

Cruz must also stay at least a mile away from the school campus and cannot contact any Stoneman students or staff.

Cruz has been living with a guardian in Lake Worth but the guardian had no idea he was at the school, according to Murphy. It was his third time visiting the campus since the Feb. 14 shooting.

Authorities previously told the 18-year-old to refrain from entering the school, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office arrest report.

"Weeks after his brother murdered, injured and terrorized the school, he is there with no legitimate purpose," Murphy said.

Discussions between Zachary and Nikolas at the jailhouse have also raised concern, Murphy said. Zachary has told Nikolas "how popular" is is now that "his face is everywhere and his name is national."

He is being held in the same jail where his 19-year-old brother is.

"There is discussion of starting some sort of pen pal or fan club and how many girls he's capable of attracting, referring to his brother Nikolas," Murphy said.

Joseph Kimok, Cruz's public defender, said the bond amount was "disproportional to the crime" and asked for the standard bond of $25.

"He should have already been released, he is being held because of who he is related to, not because of anything that he did," Kimok said.

Cruz allegedly "surpassed all locked doors and gates and proceeded to ride his skateboard through school grounds" on Monday at about 4:30 p.m., according to the arrest report.

Cruz said he entered the school property to "reflect on the school shooting and to soak it in," according to the report. 

Stoneman Douglas is the school in which 17 people, mostly teenage students, were shot and killed. Nikolas Cruz is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.

After Tuesday's hearing, the BSO filed for a "red flag law" risk protection order against Zachary Cruz, which would prohibit him from possessing and acquiring firearms for a period of time that would be determined by the court. The concept of risk protection orders was signed into law last week by Gov. Rick Scott.

Meanwhile, BSO officials announced they've suspended a deputy for falling asleep while on duty outside the school Monday, near the building where the shooting took place.

Officials said Deputy Moises Carotti was suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.

According to officials, a student approached a sergeant who was patrolling inside the school and told him Carotti was asleep in his patrol car.

The sergeant went to the car and knocked on the window to get the attention of Carotti, who appeared to be sleeping, officials said.

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