Couple says suspect told them he was sorry after allegedly killing 17 in Parkland school shooting

Posted at 9:18 AM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-19 17:48:43-05

PARKLAND, Fla. — The couple who took in the teen accused of killing 17 people said today they did not see any warning signs before the massacre at a South Florida high school last Wednesday.

The couple also said that he told them he was sorry after the shooting.



"Everything everybody seems to know we didn't know," James Snead told ABC News' "Good Morning America."


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James and Kimberly Snead opened the doors of their Parkland, Florida, home to Nikolas Cruz, 19, after his adoptive mother died in November. Cruz was adopted as an infant, and his adoptive father died in 2005.

"It's a roller coaster of emotions," James Snead said of the mass shooting aftermath. "It's still tough. We're still hurting. We're still grieving."



While Cruz was briefly staying at the home of a longtime family friend after his adoptive mother died, he went to live with the Sneads at Thanksgiving because their son was a friend of his.

"He was very polite. He seemed normal," James Snead said, adding that he obeyed all the house rules "to a T."

James Snead, 48, is a U.S. Army veteran and Kimberly Snead, 49, works as a nurse.



The troubled teen was living at the Sneads' home last week, when he opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle in his former school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 people and injuring several more.

Cruz took an Uber to the school on Valentine's Day, according to Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, and slipped away from the campus following the carnage by blending in with other students who were trying to escape, police said. He was later apprehended.

Cruz attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school from Jan. 13, 2016 to Feb. 8, 2017, according to records obtained by ABC station WPLG.

Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. Broward County public defender Howard Finkelstein, Cruz's lawyer, told ABC News on Friday that he is willing to have his client plead guilty immediately in return for the prosecution agreeing to take the death penalty off the table.

Broward County state attorney Michael Satz, however, issued a statement the next day, saying, "This is certainly the type of case the death penalty was designed for."

"Our office will announce our formal position at the appropriate time," the statement added.