Parents of 14-year-old killed by Nikolas Cruz say ‘strong family support’ could have prevented mass murder

The grief-stricken parents of 14-year-old Alaina Petty say their daughter might still be alive if shooter Nikolas Cruz had had the support of a loving family.

“We wish and believe that if somebody had been able to put their arms around him and show him some compassion and love…things may have been very different,” Ryan and Kelly Petty told the Deseret News.

Alaina Petty Facebook
Rest in peace Alaina Petty. (Facebook)

The Pettys do not excuse Cruz’s actions, but feel a glimmer of pity over his tragic family life. Nikolas’s adoptive mom, Lynda Cruz, died in November 2017. His adoptive father, Roger Cruz, died in 2004.

“We’re saddened he wasn’t able to get more help before he made a decision to take other lives,” Ryan Petty said. “We’re saddened for him. We’re sad he didn’t get a family that could help him. We’re not removing any responsibility for the choices he’s made.”

(Credit: mpi04/MediaPunch/IPX)

Nikolas reportedly hatched the plot to murder his former school mates at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after he was kicked out of the home of Rocxanne Deschamps, the Florida woman who took Nikolas and his adopted brother Zachary in when their adoptive mother died.

Deschamps told Nikolas he could not have guns in her house; he refused to comply and left. One day after Cruz committed his Valentine’s Day massacre, Rocxanne Deschamps filed to gain control of the $800,000 inheritance his mother allegedly left him. Cruz was due to get the money when he turned 22.

Nikolas had complained before his shooting that he believed Deschamps was trying to steal his money. In a bizarre (non) coincidence, Deschamps has a mugshot stemming from a 2011 arrest for fraud and writing bad checks.

Rocxanne Deschamps mugshot from 2011.
Rocxanne Deschamps mugshot from 2011. (

While liberals are foaming at the mouth over gun control, the despondent parents of 14-year-old Alaina Petty said what society needs is a return to an emphasis on family values, which have disintegrated over the years.

“Strong families are vital to a peaceful, functioning society,” Ryan Petty said. “When families break down, that’s where the problems begin.”

Ryan’s wife agreed, saying the catastrophic breakdown of the nuclear family has fueled many of the tragic societal problems we see today.

“Having a strong family is the most important thing, to have support and love and to learn right from wrong,” Mrs. Petty said. “When children don’t have that, sometimes they end up doing really bad things. If strong families were encouraged more and fought for more, more kids could be helped and not fall by the wayside.”

Another thing that could have prevented the Parkland shooting was if local police and the FBI had not repeatedly ignored credible tips alerting them that Cruz was homicidal, mentally unstable, and in possession of deadly weapons.

Children can’t control if their parents die, and parents can’t always control if kids go awry, but it is the duty of law enforcement to follow up on leads and tips, especially when they pile up, as was the case with Nikolas Cruz.

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