Nikolas Cruz’s late adoptive mother described him as a “sore loser” and believed there was something “very wrong” with her son, according to evidence presented at the sentencing trial Friday.
Jurors were shown a form completed by Lynda Cruz about her son’s behavior that was part of a behavioral assessment carried out by Broward County School Social Worker Lilliana Pardo-Posse.
Ms. Pardo-Posse worked with Cruz at Westglades Middle School, a general education school where he was a student from 2011 to 2013.
In the form Lynda filled out, she revealed that she felt that “something is wrong with him”.
“I don’t know what,” she said, adding that she believed more of her ADHD was going on.
Lynda explained that she had “frequent outbursts” in which she started “screaming, kicking, throwing objects and punching holes in the wall”.
His temper often started when he played Xbox, he said, because Cruz was an “angry loser” and had “low self-esteem”
“He can’t stand to lose, he gets angry and curses people who play with him,” Lynda wrote.
Lynda also revealed that Cruz “doesn’t like cops in general and hates reading and doing homework,” she wrote.
The mass murderer’s mother, who adopted him as a child, also described her son as a “mother’s son” and believed he cared a lot about her.
“The parent feels that Nikolas is a loving child, he is a kind soul,” read the notes.
“Nikolas is very fond of her as her mother and is a mother’s son.”
Cruz’s relationship with his mother and his obsession with Xbox games were very much present in Friday’s testimony.
Tiffany Forrest, the head of Cruz’s juvenile case in 2013, testified that Nikolas Cruz allegedly had “tantrums” inside the family home, often because he was not allowed to play video games.
“He was yelling at her [Lynda]get angry, use bad words, ”he said.
When her behavior upset her mother, Cruz and her younger brother Zachary “thought it was funny,” Ms. Forrest said.
Ms. Forrest also revealed that Cruz’s mother was asleep clutching the bag because she feared her children would steal it.
The social worker told the court that there was “quite a lot of dysfunction” in the family home and that she witnessed the bullying of the mass murderer’s younger brother.
“Zachary would say a lot of provocative things to Nikolas, insult him,” he said.
Ms. Forrest described an incident in which he said Cruz was eating cereal his mother gave him when Zachary got on the counter and stepped on the food, she said.
Law enforcement officers were called home multiple times on both boys.
Jeffrey Smith, a retired detective from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, testified that he recalled answering home on four or five occasions.
All the incidents were “similar,” he said, and involved Lynda calling the police because her children were “acting out”, “punching walls” and “being belligerent,” she said.
In an incident on November 27, 2012, police were called in to report that Cruz hit Lynda with a plastic vacuum cleaner hose.
The controversy took place because Cruz was not allowed to use her computer. Cruz was gone when the agents arrived.
Mr. Smith testified that Lynda was “overwhelmed” by the two boys “having a hard time”.
Lynda died of pneumonia in November 2017, three months before carrying out one of the worst mass shootings in US history.
On Valentine’s Day 2018, Cruz walked into the freshmen building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, armed with an AR-15.
He stalked the corridors, killing 17 innocent students and staff.
Last October, Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.
The jurors will now decide whether to sentence him to life imprisonment or death.