At the age of six, he lost his father to a heart attack, only 3 months ago, he lost his mother to the flu. Was his mother’s death the reason he snapped?

For all intents and purposes, Nikolas Cruz, 19, grew up in a loving family. He was adopted as an infant, and his parents, Roger and Lynda Cruz, loved him very much. But he struggled during his later teens, especially after both his parents passed away. Nikolas’ cold and calculated rampage left 17 dead and as many as 50 people injured at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. When word spread that a former student was the suspect, many students already suspected Nikolas before his name was ever released. Here’s what you need to know about Nikolas Cruz’s parents: his mother, Lynda Cruz, and his father, Roger Cruz.

Nikolas was adopted shortly after birth, but he wasn’t adopted alone. The Sun-Sentinel reported that Roger and Lynda adopted both Nikolas and his biological brother, Zachary, shortly after they moved from Long Island, New York to Broward County. Lynda was a stay-at-home mom. Roger worked in advertising. The couple was older when they adopted the brothers, but they had always wanted children. While Nikolas was often causing problems, his brother was quiet and seemed to stay out of trouble, family said.

She said Lynda was dedicated to her sons her entire life. “She was a lovely woman. She was a hard-working woman. She made a beautiful home for them. She put a lot of effort and time into their schooling, their recreation, whatever they needed. She was a good parent. And she went over and above, because she needed to compensate for being a single parent.”

He and His Brother Were Living With a Friend’s Family After His Mom Died

After his mom died, Nikolas and his brother stayed with friends in Lake Worth after their mom died.  But Nikolas didn’t like the situation and asked a former classmate if he could move in with him and his family. They agreed, even though he had already been expelled from the school for disciplinary problems, after getting in a fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, The Associated Press reported. They made him get a job at a local dollar store and said they didn’t see anything to suggest violence.

After the shooting, Nikolas fled the scene of the shooting, blending in among panicked students, and was arrested over an hour later at a nearby house. He legally owned the AR-15 that he used in the shooting; he bought it himself and passed a background check, CNN reported. The family he was living with made him keep the AR-15 in a locked gun cabinet, but he had a key, the family’s attorney Jim Lewis told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The family only ever saw him shooting pellet guns. –Heavy

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The New York Post is reporting, the deranged 19-year-old accused of the worst school shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre may have been sent over the edge when his single mom died of complications from the flu in November, family said.

Suspect Nikolas Cruz, 19, is accused of killing 17 and injuring more than 15 when he opened fire inside South Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday.

He and younger brother Zachary were adopted as infants by Roger and Lynda Cruz, but Roger died from a heart attack a decade ago, leaving Lynda to raise the boys herself, according to family.

Lynda, 68, checked into a clinic with the flu and was rushed to a hospital, where she died Nov. 1 of pneumonia, cousin Kathie Blaine told ABC News.

She was otherwise healthy before checking into the hospital, the cousin told the network.

“Lynda was very close to them,” sister-in-law Barbara Kumbatovic told the Washington Post. “She put a lot of time and effort into those boys, trying to give them a good life and upbringing.

“I don’t think it [the massacre] had anything to do with his upbringing. It could have been the loss of his mom.”

She recalled how Nikolas once sicced his dog on a neighbor’s pig — and how Lynda tried to discipline the boy but may have fallen short.

“He sent over his dog . . . to try to attack them,” Kumbatovic said. “Lynda dealt with it like most parents did. She was probably too good to him.”

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