The alleged Parkland, Florida high school gunman was reportedly denied help he asked for in the months prior to the shooting that left 17 people dead in February, according to a recently released analysis.
The Sun-Sentinel on Friday received a consultant's report that was commissioned by the Broward County public school system to investigate the district's handling of accused gunman Nikolas Cruz's long-standing behavioral issues.
While the report was heavily redacted, the Sun-Sentinel found that pasting the blacked-out report into a second document revealed the missing words.
And those words reveal that Cruz, months before his alleged Valentine's Day rampage, asked for help to which he was legally entitled. Per the report, in two instances, the district did not follow Florida law by properly responding to Cruz's requests.
As a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Cruz had begun showing signs of emotional troubles disturbing enough for counselors to recommend he seek psychiatric treatment.
Faced with expulsion at the time, Cruz was offered three options: he could stay at Stoneman Douglas but lose all special education services, transfer to a special needs school called Cross Creek, or he could sue the district to retain his special services.
Per the report, Cruz was entitled to continued special needs services. However, when he chose to stay at Stoneman Douglas, he was denied them.
In a second failure, Cruz asked months later to be transferred to Cross Creek but the report found that the district "did not follow through" following his request.
That February, Cruz dropped out of school and days later purchased the AR-15 that cops say he used one year later to murder 14 students and three staff members.
As the Sun-Sentinel notes, the report did little to no finger-pointing outside of noting those instances in which the law failed to be followed.
“Remembering that throughout the student's school career," the report reads, "teams were acting without benefit of foresight regarding the incident that occurred in February 2018, the decisions they made were reasonable given the available information at the time."
Cruz is currently jailed and awaiting trial for 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.