STAUNTON, Va. — The brother of the suspect in the Parkland school shooting has been granted permission to relocate to Staunton, Virginia for job and educational opportunities.
Zachary Cruz needed permission to leave South Florida because he’s on probation for six months after trespassing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where his brother, Nikolas Cruz, allegedly killed 17 people.
Lawyers for the 18-year-old filed a motion Thursday, saying he had been offered a full-time job and a free place to live for one year. In addition, he would have educational opportunities to obtain his GED.
The Broward County judge approved the move, telling the teen to “make wise choices.”
“You need to just take this moment and appreciate what they’re offering you,” she said, according to NBCMiami.
Cruz is homeless and has been living out of a South Florida hotel, according to his lawyer.
In Staunton, Cruz will work as a maintenance mechanic for Nexus Services, which specializes in helping people adjust after prison or treatment.
Cruz will make $13 an hour and live in a condo provided by Nexus Services.
“Mr. Cruz is not his brother. He is not charged with what his brother is charged with,” said attorney Mark Lowry. “This gives him a chance to start over. A fresh start.”
Lowry said the move to Staunton will give Cruz a fresh start and escape the shadow of his brother, accused Parkland school shooter.
Cruz was originally arrested on March 19 on a misdemeanor trespassing charge for skateboarding on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He was sentenced to six months’ probation and ordered to stay a mile away from the school and no contact with any of the Parkland victims, their family members or his brother.
The 18-year-old admitted to violating his probation by driving without a license, prosecutors said.
Cruz will still have to adhere to his probation restrictions, which include no possession of weapons, no drugs or alcohol use and, and no visits to any school unless he is enrolled there.