'There was a monster living under our roof'

Kimberly told The South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper she brought 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz to a therapist this month because he was still struggling with the November 1 death of his adoptive mother. They declined to provide their son's first name or age.

The couple also clearly saw that Cruz was depressed about his mother's death.

But there was tension over Cruz's guns and a possible misunderstanding about money. He owned several, and they were unsecured.

James Snead described Cruz as not "dumb, "just naïve".

The couple says Cruz told them he was set to inherit at least $800,000 from his deceased parents when he turned 22. They made Cruz buy a locking gun safe to put in his room for his weapons the day he moved in. However, they assume that Cruz had a second key hidden from them to access the safe at other times.

One year after Cruz legally purchased a rifle, the expelled student returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 people.

They said they had no idea the Federal Bureau of Investigation had been warned about him as a potential school gunman, and that many students considered him a threat.

The Sneads wanted to help him out and obliged.

Asked what punishment Cruz might deserve, Snead said he did not know.

In an interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Kimberly, a neonatal intensive care nurse, said she allowed the teen to live with her family because he didn't have anywhere else to go after his mother died of the flu last November.

17 people were killed in the shooting.

They said he was noticeably "immature" but seemed to be "growing happier" after moving into a new home. He exploded in anger after Lynda Cruz hid her son's Xbox as a punishment.

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A family that took in Nikolas Cruz after his adoptive mother died are now devastated by the thought "we had this monster living under our roof and didn't know", the Sun Sentinel reported.

Cruz, 19, was living with the Sneads when he went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday. His time was taken up riding the bus to school and back home, and biking to and from work, Snead said.

One of those rules involved Cruz's gun collection.

His last text to their son, as Cruz pulled up at the school, said "Yo".

"We have animals" - two dogs and six cats, Snead said - "and he loved them, and they loved him".

Tuesday night was totally normal, they said. He also said he was going to a movie.

A SWAT commander then called James to ask where Cruz was, which was when he remembered that the last he had known was that Cruz was at home alone with Kimberly.

Police had been called to Cruz's homes as many as 39 times over the course of seven years over reports of violence or suspicious behavior.

He said he was going fishing instead.

James, 48, a decorated army veteran and military intelligence analyst who served in the Middle East, said he didn't mind that Cruz had guns because he had plenty of weapons himself.

He called his son to ask him. Later, Cruz was led into the building, handcuffed and wearing a hospital gown, surrounded by deputies, the couple recalled.

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