Kimberly and James Snead, who took in Nikolas Cruz after his mother passed away last year, appeared on Good Morning America today to discuss their feelings of shock, anger, and betrayal at his actions, and grief over the suffering he had caused. The Sneads’ son was friends with Cruz and after he was orphaned (his father had already passed away), they opened up their home to him.
The interview is worth watching in its entirety, but the main points are that according to the Sneads, Cruz had been polite and followed their rules while in their home, or so they believed. They were shocked and horrified when they heard of what he had done.
Media reports have detailed a number of warnings authorities had received about Cruz — police were called to his parents’ house 39 times since 2010, the FBI received a tip in January about his plans to shoot up his school, and multiple classmates tried to warn authorities about him — but the Sneads said they were not aware of these complaints.
FULL INTERVIEW: "I still can’t believe what he’s done.” The family that took in the Florida shooting suspect speaks out, sitting down with @michaelstrahan in their first TV interview since the shooting: https://t.co/ACQcOyfQRq pic.twitter.com/axoxIzYEvf
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 19, 2018
In an interview the Sneads gave to the New York Times, they said that they had kept their guns — and the guns Cruz owned as well — in a gun safe, believing them to be secure, but Cruz had apparently made a duplicate key and was able to access the weapons.
The Sneads were aware Cruz was “depressed,” but did not anticipate he was capable of anything like the shooting.
“We didn’t know he had such an evil past,” Mr. Snead said in a telephone interview, sounding weary and at a loss to explain what had happened. “We just didn’t know.”
…Mr. Snead and his wife knew Mr. Cruz was depressed because they asked him about it, Mr. Snead said. Mr. Cruz was often withdrawn, and when pressed about why, he’d say he was thinking about his mother. Mr. Cruz was not medicated, Mr. Snead said, but the Snead family had made plans for him to get help.
“He was supposed to see a counselor this week,” Mr. Snead said.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.