‘I Don’t Like the Demon’: Parkland School Shooter Told Police Detective He Heard ‘Voice’ Telling Him to ‘Burn, Kill, Destroy’

PARKLAND, Fla. — A newly-released transcript of the police interrogation of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz reveals that Cruz repeatedly asserted that he had been hearing a “voice” or a “demon” inside of himself instructing him to “kill [and] destroy” and to hurt other people and himself.

Cruz, 19, told Broward County Sheriff’s Office Detective John Curcio in February that the voice began fifteen years ago when his father died and became worse after his mother passed away. He said that he started hearing the voice in the afternoon, and then it would talk to him at night, describing it as a “voice with no name, telling me what to do.”

“It’s another voice; the evil side,” Cruz outlined, stating that it was a male voice around his age, which he also described as his “bad side.” “The voice is in me … In here.”

“What does it tell you to do?” Curcio asked at one point.

“Burn. Kill. Destroy,” Cruz replied.

He said that, at first, he began starting fires in the fire pit in obedience to the voice, and then the voice also told him to kill animals, so he would shoot wild birds.

Cruz stated that the day before the high school shooting, while he was at work, the voice instructed him to “hurt people.”

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He asked Curcio for a psychologist during the interrogation as he wanted to “find out what’s wrong with me.” When asked if he feared anything by not obeying the voice, Cruz said he didn’t want to be lonely, and without the voice, he had no one else.

“So why do you want to be friends with somebody who just wants to tell you to do bad things?” Curcio asked.

“To have somebody,” Cruz replied.

“Wouldn’t you rather being alone than be with somebody who’s telling you to do bad [expletive]?” Curcio inquired. “That’s like being around a friend who’s always getting you in trouble. Why would you want a friend like that?”

“Because I have no one,” Cruz answered.

“So you’d rather be in trouble than to be lonely?” Curcio asked.

“No,” Cruz said. “I don’t want to be in trouble. The bad voices just said—I don’t have anyone else.”

Curcio asked if the voice told him to buy the AR-15, and Cruz replied in the affirmative.

“Was the voice helping you pick out the gun, or was it just you helping?” Curcio inquired.

“No, it was the voice [that] told me to do it,” Cruz said. “… The voice suggested it.”

“Now, if the voice told you to buy … the AR-15, what do you think if you didn’t buy it? If you said, ‘Hey, I ain’t buying these guns; too expensive,’ what do you think the voice would have done to you? Just stopped talking to you?” Curcio asked moments later.

“No. Tell me to hurt myself,” Cruz answered, advising that he already had been cutting himself for years. He said that the voice told him to do it, and that even during the interview, the voice was urging him to kill himself.

Cruz repeatedly alternately referred to the voice as “the demon,” stating that wherever he went, the demon went with him. He said that the demon also picked out certain music to listen to, including German music and sad, suicidal music. Cruz said that he wanted to see a psychologist, but the voice told him not to. When asked why he never told his mother, Cruz said that he didn’t want to scare her.

Cruz stated that he had never prayed about the matter, and advised that he doesn’t believe in God, but still thinks there’s “something.”

“What do you believe in?” Curcio asked.

“I believe there’s something,” Cruz replied.

“Okay. But if you believe in demons, do you believe in angels? Angels [are] the good. Demons are the bad. When you say the word demon, do you think it’s an evil spirit or what do you think it is?” Curcio inquired.

“A voice. A demon voice,” Cruz answered.

Cruz advised that he took Xanax and marijuana at least once to help make the voice go away. When Curcio asked why he didn’t get a prescription or just continue to take the drugs illegally to do something about the demon, Cruz said that he was scared to tell a doctor and he didn’t want to engage in illegal activity. Curcio then forthrightly stated that he believed that Cruz either liked the demon or made the story up.

“I think you’re using the demon as an excuse,” Crucio contended.

“I’m not. I promise,” Cruz replied. “I don’t like the demon. I don’t like the demon. I don’t like the demon. I don’t like the demon.”

Read the transcript, which was redacted by authorities to black out any confession, in full here, and click here to view video footage of the interrogation.

As previously reported, Cruz killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February and wounded almost 20 others.

In John 10:10, Jesus taught, “The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

1 Peter 5:8 also exhorts, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”


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