Why Did Nikolas Cruz Become the Florida School Shooter?


Curt Anderson

Nikolas Cruz at his preliminary hearing.

Camron Graham, Staff Writer

Nikolas Cruz after his arrest

It is said that we create our own demons. As an outcast unstable teenager, Nikolas Cruz, had what may have been his only emotional support, his adopted parents, die. This may have been what made this tragic child snap.

Classmates at his high school, Stoneman Douglas High School, said they had all predicted that Nikolas Cruz would become a school shooter. Pushing that label on him definitely was a factor in turning him into what they already assumed he would become. While guns are a tool of death, most of us forget that there are very real, very human people behind the weapons. Preventing this horrible incident may have been as simple as showing a fellow human being a bit of compassion and care. Humans are not instinctively evil but if we show them no care or love then they will not know how to show it to others. Humans are forever tainted by the world around them. Lending a helping hand may just save lives.

There is no word yet on Cruz’s exact motives for shooting more than two dozen students and staff (killing 17 and wounding 17) at the school but it’s possible this incident was the result of being socially exiled and having been labeled. He may have felt that his future had already been decided for him. In the face of so many people turning him into a social pariah, they may have unwittingly forced him to turn into something straight from the realm of nightmares.

Life for Nikolas has always been hard, as he was orphaned at birth and was adopted by Lynda and Roger Cruz. In November, 2017, he became an orphan once more. After his adoptive parents died, he moved in with a friend’s family. After he was out of high school, he planned and executed his assault because he may have wanted to cause pain to those at a place where he believed people caused him the most pain of his life. He felt alienated and judged at a time when he needed people to help him the most. Instead he was treated as though he was responsible for his distress.

His time in prison has seen him showcase strange behaviors and even remorse for his actions. This is not surprising as it is likely he committed his crime while in an unstable mental state. As a society, we must stop treating cases of this nature as cold blooded crimes and more like fits of criminal instability. Instead of pointing the blame squarely at the perpetrator, we must look at the environment in which perpetrators were forced to live in. This, I feel, is the first step to preventing crimes like this from happening and in doing so, we may prevent the further loss of life.