- Donald Trump called the Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz “mentally disturbed.”
- The president urged citizens to report people like Cruz to the authorities, but it’s unclear what actions authorities could have taken as Cruz reportedly possessed his gun legally.
- Trump has been unsupportive of gun control legislation even in the wake of major tragedies in the US.
US President Donald Trump has branded the suspect in the Florida school shooting “mentally disturbed.”
Nikolas Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder after allegedly embarking on a shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High on Wednesday.
“So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!” Trump tweeted on Thursday.
The 19-year-old’s classmates and neighbors reported that Cruz had behavior problems and his social media feed shows a fixation with weaponry.
One unnamed classmate told local WJXT news channel that “everyone predicted” that Cruz would shoot up the school.
Cruz’s lawyer told the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel that Cruz legally possessed the AR-15 suspected to have been used in the shooting.
It’s unclear what actions authorities could take to prevent a shooting if an individual merely acts in a threatening manner without violating any laws.
In the past, Trump has not supported efforts towards gun control and instead talked about mass shootings as a mental health issue.
In the wake of a shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where a gunman entered a church and killed 26, Trump said gun control legislation wouldn’t help, and praised an armed bystander for shooting the gunman as he exited the church.
If found guilty, Cruz could face the death penalty in Florida.