Friday, 22 March, 2019

Couple who took in Florida massacre gunman speak out

Couple who took in Florida massacre gunman speak out Couple who took in Florida massacre gunman speak out
Lora Ball | 21 February, 2018, 23:18

"Everything everybody seems to know, we didn't know", James Snead said on ABC's "Good Morning America" Monday.

James Snead said he knew Cruz had guns and was comfortable with him having them in the home as long as they were kept locked up. Their story aligns with what the family attorney, Jim Lewis, previously told CNN on their behalf.

She also criticised adults who knew the killer was mentally ill for not doing more to prevent him from owning a gun, with the USA leader having tweeted the day after the massacre that Cruz had not been flagged to the authorities.

Michael Alessandri, a clinical professor of psychology at University of Miami, said Cruz's diagnosis of autism should not be viewed as one of the causes of the attack. Snead remembers that Cruz was "very respectful then".

Cruz came to live with the Snead family, whose son was friendly with Cruz, after his adopted mother died last November. "We must always report any such instances to authorities, again and again", he said.

They said they didn't know about his social media posts which paint him as a racist "professional school shooter". "But it just - it wasn't working that way". Cruz, then 18, was listed as an "alleged victim" of medical neglect and inadequate supervision; his adoptive mother, then-68-year-old Lynda Cruz, the "alleged perpetrator".

"Politicians and more importantly the American public must take action if we're going to prevent the next shooting", said survivor David Hogg, who wrote an essay for "CBS This Morning".

She also says she had started the process of getting him to see a counselor.

James Snead added, "Ironically, it probably would've been this week". They made Cruz buy a locking gun safe to put in his room the day he moved in.

"I thought I had the only key".

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Snead said he thought he had the only key to the safe.

The Sneads told CNN they weren't overly concerned about Cruz's mental health during his stay.

The FBI said Friday it did not follow proper protocols after receiving a tip in January about Cruz's "desire to kill people" and access to firearms.

The couple also says the cell phone video showing Cruz dressed in boxer shorts, shooting what appeared to be a BB gun in a backyard, was not from his time at their house.

The Sneads began speaking publicly about their relationship with Cruz on Saturday, in an interview with The Sun Sentinel of South Florida.

Asked what punishment Cruz might deserve, Snead said he did not know. "We're learning a lot about all of this just the same as everyone else". They are planning to march on Washington on March 24 to demand that children and their families "become a priority" for USA lawmakers, and hope that other protests will take place simultaneously in other cities on the same day. "It crushed everybody's world in our community".

They said they crossed paths with Mr. Cruz at the police station, but they have not had any other contact with him.

"I don't have an Instagram account, so I didn't know any of that".

Authorities have not described any specific motive, except to say that Cruz had been kicked out of the high school, which has about 3,000 students and serves an affluent suburb where the median home price is almost $600,000.

"Everything everybody seems to know, we didn't know", added her husband James, a decorated army veteran and a military intelligence analyst. "Our heart aches for them".

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