20/02/2018 10:15 SAST | Updated 20/02/2018 11:44 SAST

Nikolas Cruz, Responsible For The Florida Shooting, Suffered Depression, Attention Deficit And Autism

Will he be sentenced to death or life imprisonment? The key is in his mental health.

Nikolas Cruz at the first trial hearing for the massacre of 17 people in a high school.
Sun Sentinel via Getty Images
Nikolas Cruz at the first trial hearing for the massacre of 17 people in a high school.

Nikolas Cruz , the shooter of the 17-person massacre at a school in Florida , suffered from depression, attention deficit and autism, according to a document to be published by the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

In an open case in September 2016, the Florida DCF called Cruz a "vulnerable" person with several mental problems, which led doctors to prescribe one or more medications for those disorders, according to the report he has had access to. The Miami Herald .

DCF attorney John Jackson has asked the court to publish the report on the case of Cruz, 19 years old. Although he has not revealed whether the department he represents has other documents about the young man, he is the only one since he came of age.

These types of reports are confidential, but both Jackson and the judge who approved his publication, Charles Greene, agreed that, with his actions, Cruz lost his right to privacy. The young man's defense did not oppose it.

Death penalty or life imprisonment? The key is in your mental health

This report would serve as a basis for the defense's position that the authorities ignored Cruz's systematic "requests for help," defense attorney Gordon Weeks has indicated.

After confessing the crime, the remaining question during the judicial process is whether Cruz will be sentenced to death or life imprisonment, and his mental health will be fundamental in this decision.

During the interrogations after the massacre, Cruz told police he heard voices in his head that told him how to perpetrate the attack, voices that were described as "demons," according to ABC News.

After DCF opened this case, the author of the shooting lost his adoptive mother to pneumonia and was orphaned again, after his death years before his adoptive father.

The young man has appeared this Monday before another judge, Elizabeth Scherer, in a hearing that dealt with a secret motion filed on Friday by the defense, without knowing the content of it.

Cruz has remained without looking up from the table and barely moving, accompanied by his two legal representatives, who have advanced their intention to ask for secrecy for future motions.

He told his adoptive parents that he "felt"

The Snead couple, who welcomed Cruz in November 2017 after the death of his adoptive mother from pneumonia, said they saw the young man after the killing and that he told them he "felt" him.

In an interview with the Good Morning America program , James and Kimberly Snead explained that they crossed paths with Cruz, already detained at a police station on the day of the shooting. When she saw him, the 49-year-old nurse started screaming because she "wanted, more than anything in the world, to strangle him".

James explained that they still live a "rollercoaster of emotions" and that it is "hard" because they opened the doors of his house and now they are knowing things about Cruz that they did not even imagine then, because the young man seemed "normal" and was "very polite" "

He sent a message to the son of the Snead minutes before the massacre

Cruz was a friend of his son, and that's why they accepted him to move with them. His friend now feels "betrayed" and "furious", because he was at that moment in school, where he had all his friends. Minutes before the massacre, the shooter wrote to tell him he was going to the movies.

"He also said that he had something to tell him, our son insisted: 'What is it, what is it?' And he only replied: 'Nothing bad, uncle.' That's it, the last message he sent," James explained. . The family says they do not plan to see him again.

James, a 48-year-old former military officer, has explained that one of the conditions imposed on Cruz to move in with them was to buy a safe to keep his weapons and that he thought he had the only key. Ensures that the young man could not use them without his permission and always complied with the rules.

Since he moved, he only asked him to have the weapons twice, once to clean one of them, to which he agreed, and on another occasion he rejected the idea.