Ex-friend says Florida killer sold knives at school
A former friend of confessed killer Nikolas Cruz reported his troubling behavior to school officials several times in the last couple of years — especially after he started threatening her, showed off his weapons in photos and sold knives at school, she said Tuesday.
Ariana Lopez told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that her friendship with Cruz — who killed 14 of his former classmates and three staffers at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School last week — started naturally.
“He would tell me about his mom and his brother,” the 19-year-old said.
Soon she started noticing Cruz’s “disturbing” behavior, like selling knives out of his lunchbox at school and posting images of guns on social media.
“He posted pictures of like 15 or more firearms just on his bed like this was normal, like you could even see a hamper in the background,” she said. “That’s how ordinary this was to him.”
When she tried to distance himself from him, Cruz started following her after school and threatening her and her friends.
“He talked about killing our parents, our friends, boyfriends and girlfriends,” she said.
Lopez said she reported his behavior to school officials in 2015 and 2016.
The high school disciplined Cruz over 25 times, with punishments that included suspensions for fighting and finally expulsion last year for unspecified “disciplinary reasons”
One fight that got Cruz suspended for two days was captured on cell phone video and released Monday.
Lopez said the brawl was over a girl Cruz had briefly dated.
“He would hit her, he would threaten her, he would threaten her family and her friends for talking to other guys,” she said.
Lopez, who hid in a closet during Cruz’s Valentine’s Day massacre, said she immediately knew the shooter was him.
“Everybody who knew him, we knew it,” she said. “He was the person that we could think of that would do something like this, because it was obvious that he had the power to do this.”