DCF releases records on Parkland school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz

PARKLAND, Fla. — Evidence in the case is so overwhelming it's unclear if a plea bargain will be reached or if the case will go to trial.

At a separate afternoon hearing regarding records from the Florida Department of Children and Families, a judge ruled a 3-page confidential investigative summary and 19 pages of background materials could be released. Names of non-DCF employees listed in those pages will be redacted, but their titles won't be.

The records were released later Monday, showing the following: 

•       DCF Adult Protective Services was called on September 28, 2016, to investigate allegations that Nikolas Cruz was being victimized by his caregiver - his mother;
•       Following an investigation involving mental health counselors, school personnel, and law enforcement who had contact with Cruz, DCF found no indicators of abuse or neglect as alleged;
•       According to Henderson Behavioral Health, before, during, and after DCF’s investigation, Cruz was receiving mental health treatment services from Henderson Behavioral Health, a provider independent from DCF. Henderson also informed DCF Cruz was taking medication;
•       It was reported to DCF that Cruz did not own a firearm;
•       And, Cruz was living with his mother and regularly attending school.

 

Accused Marjory Stoneman Douglas gunman Nikolas Cruz returned to court Monday afternoon.

FULL COVERAGE: Parkland school shooting

Cruz was not in the courtroom for a hearing earlier in the day. His attorneys want certain documents to remain sealed.

Cruz, who kept his head down for most of the hearing, was in court over the objections of his attorneys.

During the hearing, attorneys argued over the documents, but the judge decided they would stay sealed.

DCF Secretary Mike Carroll released the following statement: 

“DCF is absolutely heartbroken and disgusted by last week’s tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Once we learned that the shooter had involvement with the agency in 2016, we immediately began the process of asking a court to release these records detailing DCF’s only involvement with this person. We also conducted a thorough review to confirm that all processes and procedures were followed. In these investigations, DCF relies on the expertise of mental health professionals and law enforcement and these records show that DCF took the steps to involve these partners in investigating this alleged abuse. Cruz was receiving mental health services before, during, and after our investigation was closed, he was living with his mother, and attending school. Our focus will continue to be on working with our partners to best serve Florida’s communities.”

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