Cruz, 18, is charged with trespassing. He was ordered held on $500,000 bond, which is highly unusual for trespassing charges. The standard bond for trespassing is $25.
His brother, Nikolas, 20, shot and killed 14 people at Stoneman Douglas on February 14. He faces multiple murder charges as well as several attempted murder charges for the students he injured. He is being held without bond and potentially faces the death penalty.
Assistant State Attorney Sarahnell Murphy originally asked Zachary Cruz’s bond to be set at $750,000, saying he has “all the same flags” as his brother, and that the system that failed to protect the students of Stoneman Douglas cannot afford to make the same mistake with his brother.
Judge Mollica ruled that Cruz must wear an ankle monitor if he manages to post bail, and he must remain at least 500 feet away from any school or daycare center. He is also not allowed to return to Broward County except on official business.
According to Murphy, Cruz bragged to his brother during jailhouse conversations about “how popular” he is now and how many girls he is attracting because of the shooting. Murphy said the brothers talked about forming a fan club to take advantage of Nikolas’ notoriety.
After his arrest, Cruz told deputies that he went to the school to “reflect on the school shooting and soak it in,” the Palm Beach Post reports. The sheriff’s office said Cruz was previously warned by authorities to stay away from the school, but he ignored the orders and entered the campus for the third time on Monday.
Before the shooting, both brothers lived with a family friend, Rocxanne Deschamps, in a mobile home in Lantana. They moved in with Deschamps after the death of their mother in November last year. They were both once students at Stoneman Douglas.
Nikolas Cruz moved out of the Lantana home a month later after he had a dispute with Deschamps about his guns. Deschamps reportedly did not want any guns in her house. Cruz moved in with the family of one of his friends in Parkland. He shot up his old school a few months later.
After the shooting, Zachary Cruz allegedly told deputies he “doesn’t understand why his brother would have done this” and that “it’s not a realistic option to kill people.” In the same conversation, Zachary reportedly told deputies that he felt guilty about what happened and thought he could have prevented it.
“(He) explained that he and his friends, when they were younger, had bullied Nikolas, which he now regrets every doing. (He) wishes that he had been ‘nice’ to his brother,” the deputy wrote.
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