According to CNN News, Nikolas Cruz repeatedly espoused racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic views and displayed an obsession with violence and guns in a private group chat with his friends on Instagram. It is reported that Cruz posted several racist memes, messages, and threats to the group. Racism was a constant theme in the chat group, which was called “Murica (American flag emoji) (eagle emoji) great”. In one message, Cruz talked about killing Mexicans, putting Black people back in chains and cutting their necks.
A former friend of Cruz had an interview with Good Morning America by the name of Ariana Lopez. She told reporters she had several “disturbing” experiences with Cruz. “He used to sell knives out of his lunch box, which I thought was, like, insane because you can’t have knives … in a school. He would talk about how he sympathized with … terrorists and how people who opposed them should be killed.” She also opened up about his violent and threatening past. “He talked about killing our parents, our friends, boyfriends and girlfriends,” Lopez added. “He would hit his ex-girlfriend, he would threaten her, he would threaten her family and her friends, for talking to other guys.”
Lopez found Cruz’s behavior so unsettling, she reported Cruz to school officials “multiple” times between 2016 and 2017. A representative for Broward County Schools has yet to comment on Lopez’s report.