“Try to find God,” the brother of Nikolas Cruz urged the Parkland shooter while visiting him following the massacre of 17 people at a high school in Florida, newly-released video footage reveals.
“You say you have a demon. Try to find God because God is good. God will be there for you. When you’re thinking in your head, just try to connect with God,” Zachary Cruz exhorted, amid telling his brother that he believes Cruz is “lost” and “not right in the head.”
As previously reported, Nikolas Cruz repeatedly told Broward County Sheriff’s Office Detective John Curcio during questioning that he had been hearing a voice for years, who he described as a “demon,” “telling [him] what to do.” He said that the voice would tell him to hurt himself and other people, and would direct him to sad, suicidal music.
“It’s another voice; the evil side,” Cruz outlined, stating that it was a male voice around his age. “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 the voice began when his father died, and got worse after his mother passed away. Cruz told Curcio that he doesn’t believe in God, but thinks there is an unknown “something.”
“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.
That same day, as Cruz stated that he wanted to talk to his brother, Zachary Cruz was later brought into the room. Nikolas and Zachary were both adopted, and while they had the same biological mother, they were conceived by different fathers. Their adoptive father died seven years ago and their mother passed away in December.
During the recorded discussion, Zachary reminded his brother that he had told him after their mother died that he would be there for him. Cruz said he did not remember.
“I know you probably felt like you had nobody, but I, I care for you,” Zachary said. “I literally would pull out my heart for you.”
“I know I made it seem like when we were growing up that I hated you, [that] I didn’t like you. But truth is, I just didn’t want to look … weak,” he continued, as Cruz began to cry. “I love you with all my heart. I’m telling you right now: I love you. All right?”
Zachary then reached out to hug his brother, and Cruz’ tears turned into sobs.
“I’m sorry. I love you,” Cruz said.
“I wish I could have prevented this … I feel like this is a big part of my fault also because, you know, we grew up together. I know I wasn’t the nicest to you. … I’m pretty sure that you’ve told me that I made you want to kill yourself or something,” Zachary stated.
“Now I’m sorry that I grew up being a dumb jerk to you and made fun of you, and didn’t want you to hang out with my friends even though there was nothing wrong [with that],” he said.
Zachary promised Cruz that he would come see him every opportunity he could, and urged him not to hurt himself.
“Just stay solid. All right? Just don’t hurt yourself. … Please do not kill yourself. All right?” he exhorted. “You’re given one life. Like, you don’t understand. I don’t think you understand that. You’re given one life. You can only live one time. All right? Don’t just end it because you don’t like how it is. Life your life … even if it’s gonna feel hopeless. If it feels hopeless, you’ve just got to push through.”
Before he left the room, Zachary reminded his brother that he loved him and said that he didn’t care what other people thought his brotherly love. He urged Cruz, in seeking to find words, to “try to find God.”
“Just try to connect with someone besides negativity in your head. Try to think of positive things,” Zachary added.
In Mark 2:17, Jesus said, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”