Couple who took in shooting suspect speak to grand jury

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The family who took in the 19-year-old suspected of killing 17 people at a Florida high school testified Wednesday before a grand jury considering charges against him.

After his mother died in November, Cruz briefly lived with a family friend and then moved in with James and Kimberly Snead.

After meeting with the Broward County grand jury, the couple and their attorney declined to discuss their testimony. Both James Snead and the attorney, Jim Lewis, wore silver “17” pins to commemorate the 17 victims of the shooting.

The couple were “trying to do the right thing” and were mourning along with the rest of the Parkland community, Lewis said.

“We’ll let justice take its course at this point,” Lewis said. “They still don’t know what happened, why this happened. They don’t have any answers. They feel very badly for everybody.”

Cruz told investigators he took an AR-15 rifle to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Valentine’s Day and started shooting into classrooms.

Jail records released to local news stations showed Cruz was being held in solitary confinement. The Broward Sheriff’s Office has released a report of officers’ observations from Feb. 17 through Feb. 24. Officers described Cruz as being cooperative but avoiding eye contact.

The report said Cruz “often sits with a blank stare,” appeared to laugh and exhibited “awkward” behavior during and after a visit with an attorney and had one “family visit.” Officers said Cruz also requested a Bible to read in his single-person cell in the infirmary.

Meanwhile, the Sun Sentinel reported a second student injured in the shooting has filed a letter of intent to sue the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the school system and others. Doctors said one bullet tore through 15-year-old Kyle Laman’s ankle and foot, according to a statement from The Berman Law Group, which is representing the teenager.

“Kyle is still dealing with memories of the terror he felt when his classroom was locked and he was stuck in the hallway during the shooting,” the statement said. “The teacher couldn’t get the door open fast enough.
Everyone was running scared. Kyle looked at the gunman staring right back at him, and instinctively jumped for cover.”

Separately, 15-year-old Anthony Borges and his parents have notified county officials of their plan to sue. Anthony was shot five times in his legs and torso and remains hospitalized, his attorney Alex Arreaza said.

In Tallahassee, the Florida House was expected to vote on gun legislation stemming from the school shooting.

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