Zachary Cruz, the brother of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz, says he wants to start an anti-bullying campaign, CNN reports.
Cruz, 18, made the statements as he was preparing to move from Palm Beach County to Virginia. Nikolas, who is facing the death penalty, is charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the Feb. 14 massacre in Parkland, Fla. His lawyers have said he would plead guilty if guaranteed a life sentence without parole, but prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
“Because my brother didn’t really fit in with a lot of people and I saw the effects of that, like, firsthand,” Zachary Cruz told CNN affiliate WPEC outside of an animal boarding house in Green Acres, Florida, on Sunday morning. “It’s a real issue so I just want to try to change that.”
“I want to end bullying because it’s so dumb,” he added. “Like, everybody, like, deserves to fit in. … You shouldn’t just, I don’t know, exclude someone because they’re different.”
Zachary Cruz told investigators he bullied his adopted brother Nikolas, and said he felt guilty about it.
“I felt like I was bullying him a little bit at times, like I felt like I was a little too hard on him at times,” Cruz said of their childhoods. “He was a very, like, fragile person, so … my mom was always there for him.”
Zachary Cruz also said he thought he could have prevented his actions.
“There’s a lot of things I wish I could have did to prevent it,” he said. “I wish I could have stopped it somehow.”
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