Broward Sheriff's Officer files protection order against Zachary Cruz under new Florida law

Posted at 5:43 PM, Mar 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-21 11:31:06-04

The Broward Sheriff’s Office filed a petition for risk protection order against the accused Parkland shooter’s brother Tuesday afternoon.

BSO filed the order one day after deputies arrested Zachary Cruz for trespassing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The request for the order cites a section in the “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act” creating risk protection orders. The bill was signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott on March 9 following the deadly shooting.

RELATED: Nikolas Cruz, Zachary Cruz share more than a rap sheet in Broward, Palm Beach County

Under the law, a court can prohibit a violent or mentally ill person from possessing a firearm or other weapon. Law enforcement is able to petition a court to have the person surrender a firearm and prohibit a person from possessing or buying guns. 

A Broward County Judge ordered Zachary Cruz to be held on $500,000 bond and have his suburban Lantana home searched for any guns or weapons before he posts bond.

In the order, BSO said they are pursuing the order because “there is a reason to believe [Cruz] has a mental health illness” and is a danger to himself. BSO cited that Zachary Cruz is the brother of Nikolas Cruz, who was indicted on 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17-counts of attempted murder.

Zachary Cruz is accused of passing all locked doors and trespassing at Stoneman Douglas High School to “reflect on the school shooting and to soak it in.”

Cruz was Baker Acted two days after the Parkland shooting after an evaluation determined he was a danger to himself, the order states. 

Sheriff’s office records show a pattern of violent and combative behavior by Cruz over the past six years, a deputy wrote in the order.

Cruz is accused of hitting glass doors, turning over furniture, cursing, and threatening and fighting family members. 

Court records show BSO is asking a judge to temporarily grant the order until a hearing can be set. If a judge grants the order at a hearing, Cruz would not be able to purchase, possess or receive a firearm or ammunition for 12 months.

"It certainly hasn't been tested in the courts so we'll see if there are ever any challenges to it but in fact, it's certainly well-intentioned in order to make our streets safer," said Michelle Suskauer, WPTV's legal analyst.