Parkland School Shooting: Student Says She Was Stalked by Nikolas Cruz Prior to Attack

News - Inside Edition Staff

A junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School says she was stalked by accused school shooter Nikolas Cruz before last week's devastating mass shooting in the hallways of the building.

Ariana Lopez, 17, says Cruz seemed normal enough when she first met him, but he later he exhibited a dark side that included hostile behavior, posing with weapons on social media and selling knives at the school, according to reports. 

“He started becoming violent and very obsessive and aggressive to the point where it was somewhat frightening,” Lopez told Inside Edition. 

She says Cruz dated another student at the school who became terrified of him.  

“Things got weird fast,” she claimed. “He hit her and he would send her very violent accusing messages saying she was cheating on him with other friends, that she didn't deserve him, he was going to kill her. She had marks. She was scared of him.” 

After they broke up, Cruz sent disturbing texts to Lopez and her friends.

“He made this into a joke saying, 'I’m going to be the next school shooter. I have all these guns. If you mess with me I will kill you.' In those messages he talks about bringing a gun to school and killing our friends," Lopez said.  

She said it was terrifying. 

On the day of Wednesday’s shooting, Lopez ran into a closet and hid with dozens of others, fearing the shooter would hunt her down.

“It's like 50 kids in the closet, half sitting down, half standing, all like trying to contact their friends and family. We're passing phones around,” she recalled. 

Even before he was captured, they had no doubt who the shooter was. 

“You could hear like 15 people or more say, 'It's Nik',” she recalled. "Before they could announce it, 'It's Nik.' We all knew it was Nik." 

Lopez texted her mom.

"There's a code red. An active shooter. I can't txt. I can't talk. I'm safe. I love you."

Her mother responded: “Stay safe. Let me know when it's over. I'm sending you love, light and strength." 

“It's Nik! The kid who stalked me,” she told her mother. 

A just-released report on Cruz from the Florida Department of Children and Families marked “confidential” shows the break-up with his girlfriend was triggered by her mom.

“The girl's mother told the kids they had to end the relationship because it was unhealthy for everyone,” the document read, adding that Cruz "started cutting himself" after the relationship ended. 

Lopez says she is eager to get back to school and is moved by the way her town has come together.

“I think it's beautiful, but I wish it didn't have to happen at a time like this,” she said. 

Court documents obtained by Inside Edition show Cruz’s adoptive father, Roger P. Cruz died in 2004 of a heart attack, leaving a $1,000,000 estate, leaving many wondering whether the alleged shooter was about to come into a huge fortune. 

His mother, Lynda Cruz, sold their house for $570,000. In November, she died from the flu after apparently refusing to seek medical help. 

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