Ariana Lopez, who used to attend high school with mass shooter Nikolas Cruz and was friends with him, went on Good Morning America this Tuesday to discuss how his troubled past made it obvious he was the killer.
Lopez, who survived the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said he would often speak of murdering people and was very abusive to his girlfriend. Due to his violent behavior she distanced herself from him, but that is when Cruz began stalking her and a friend by following them home after school.
During the interview Lopez claimed she reported Cruz multiple times to Broward County school officials, but they did little to nothing to help change the situation. When news reports broke of the mass shooting Lopez claims everyone at the school knew the gunman was Cruz, because he would be the only person to do such a thing.
Via the Daily Mail: Lopez made it clear during her interview that Cruz’s problematic behavior and mental health issues were on clear display at school.
“He talked about killing our parents, our friends, boyfriends and girlfriends.” Former friend of Florida school shooting suspect speaks out to @VictorOquendo, saying she and her friends reported him multiple times: https://t.co/ZGimiAMj0m pic.twitter.com/gCCo4iEy4G
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 20, 2018
‘He used to sell knives out of his lunch box which I thought was insane. You can’t have knives, this is a school’, Lopez said about Cruz. ‘He would be like, “hey guys, want some knives?”.
Cruz was disciplined 25 times by the school before he was expelled in February of last year.
One of the incidents that led to his being disciplined was a fight in September 2016. Footage of the brawl emerged over the weekend.
Cruz was suspended for two days as a result of the fight, which was over a former girlfriend.
An in-home investigation was conducted by Florida Department of Children and Families after the fight and Cruz’s late adoptive mother Lynda said it was because the unnamed girl was cheating on her son.
During this report Lynda also stated that her son only owned an air gun, which was taken away from him after he failed to follow her rules for using the weapon; which was to only use the gun to aim at targets in the backyard, but the report doesn’t go into further detail than this. Cruz’s adoptive mother died in November of 2017 after health issues. Investigators digging through Cruz’s social media discovered he posted videos of him cutting himself on to Snapchat.
‘Mr. Cruz has fresh cuts on both his arms. Mr. Cruz stated he plans to go out and buy a gun. It is unknown what he is buying the gun for,’ the report said.
Lopez said that the fight at the school was not over a break-up, but rather because Cruz had been physically abusing his girlfriend.
‘He would hit her. He would threaten her. He would threaten her family and friends for talking to other guys,’ said Lopez.
‘He would talk about how he sympathized with Syrian terrorists and say people who opposed them should be killed. He posted pictures of 15 or more firearms just on his bed. Like this was normal. Like you could even see a hamper in the background,’ Lopez continued.
‘That’s how ordinary this was to him.’
She then added, ‘He talked about killing our parents, our friends, boyfriends and girlfriends.’
‘I was thinking about why he could have done this. Because Nik was an avid hunter, I thought about it from a hunter’s perspective,’ Lopez said reflecting on the shooting.
‘The freshman building is very difficult to get out of – and when you think about it from the way that a hunter might have, which was the way Nik thought about a lot of things, that was an easy target.’
She then said the same exact thing that almost every single student who attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has stated over the past week in interviews.
‘I knew it [was him]. We all did. Everybody who knew him, knew it. Before they announced that he was the shooter – we all knew it was Nik,’ said Lopez.
‘He was the only person we could think of that would do something like this because it was obvious that he had the power to do this.’