Months before authorities said he walked into a Florida high school and took 17 lives, Nikolas Cruz was reportedly filmed shooting what appears to be a BB gun in his backyard.
The 19-year-old’s reportedly violent history has been highlighted in the aftermath of a fatal mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Cruz was formerly a member of the school’s JROTC program. The shooting at the school marked the 25th American school shooting in which someone was killed since the devastating 1999 shooting at Columbine High School.
Cruz reportedly has a history of being violent and abusive, and he was once reported by his late adoptive mother to have had a heightened interest in obtaining a gun. According to Newsweek, Cruz’s obsession led him to display dangerous and disturbing behaviors, even before the fatal shooting.
A video allegedly shows a half-dressed Cruz pointing the BB gun outside of his house, as one would do in a target practice session. The person in the video waves the replica weapon around, aims and shoots toward the fence surrounding the house.
According to CNN, the video is thought to have been taken by a neighbor in October 2017.
Cruz was said to have set off several red flags before allegedly carrying out the massacre.
He was allegedly abusive toward his mother, and authorities were often called to the house. At one point, his mother told Broward County Sheriff’s deputies that she was worried about her son, as he began “cutting his arms … to get attention.” He was also reported to have abused his high school ex-girlfriend and was reportedly expelled from the school after getting into a fight with her new boyfriend.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was previously alerted to Cruz and a few disturbing threats he made online, including one about wanting to carry out a school shooting.