Neighbor of Nikolas Cruz: 'I had no doubt he was going to do this'

Another day, another missed warning about Nikolas Cruz. CNN interviewed a former neighbor who says she knew he was going to kill someone one day. Joelle Guarino witnessed Cruz’s anger and willingness to harm small animals. She eventually told her children to stay away from him and even considered moving out of the neighborhood:


“I had no doubt he was going to do this,” Guarino told CNN. “My husband and I both knew that we would eventually see him one day on the news, wearing an orange jumpsuit being charged with murder.”…

As Cruz got older, Guarino said, she started noticing Cruz killing toads on her lawn, by piercing the animals with spear-like objects; then he would dissect the animals. But it was when Cruz was in eighth grade that she said she saw an even darker side.

Guarino said Cruz was standing over her dog Max with a menacing expression while Max was convulsing and foaming at the mouth.

“His face was excited that it was happening — with this wild satisfaction look,” Guarino said. “As soon as he saw me his demeanor changed.”

After that, Guarino asked her sons to keep their distance from Cruz, and to avoid making him angry.

Guarino also noticed that Cruz’s bedroom was full of holes. He would get angry and punch a hole in the drywall. When Cruz got more out of hand, his mother would call the police, but Guarino says once police arrived she would always deny Cruz had committed a violent act. “She would excuse him for everything,” she tells CNN. She even called the local police herself in 2016 but was told there was nothing they could do:


She said she called 911 and begged the responding officer to do something.

“There is nothing I can do,” she said the deputy told her. “Until he does something there is nothing I can do.”

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office has not replied to CNN’s request for comment on the call.

The story never says whether or not Guarino is also the person who called the FBI in January to warn that Nikolas Cruz seemed likely to carry out a mass shooting.  That warning came from a woman caller who seemed very familiar with Cruz and his behavior and who claimed she had previously called local police about Cruz. Speaking of Cruz, that caller warned the FBI, “I just think about, you know, getting into a school and just shooting the place up.” The call came in 5 1/2 weeks before the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school but the warning was never relayed to a local FBI office for further investigation.

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