The 17-year-old brother of accused school shooter Nikolas Cruz on Friday was removed from the home of a longtime family friend who took the boys in after their adoptive mother died, and was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility, according to reports from a Florida newspaper.
Chad Bennett, a friend of Rocxanne Deschamps, the woman who took the brothers in, told The Palm Beach Post that the boy was removed from the home.
The boy will turn 18 years old next week. Sources close to the investigation told The Post that Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies, assisting their counterparts in Broward County, removed a person on Friday from Deschamps' mobile home and transported him to a mental health facility.
Bennett confirmed to the paper that the person was Cruz' younger brother.
The elder brother is being held without bond for 17 charges of premeditated murder in connection with the massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He has confessed to the shootings.
According to The New York Post, also reporting on the incident, the younger Cruz brother was involuntarily committed under Florida's Baker Act, which allows a person to be held involuntarily for up to 12 hours for an involuntary psychiatric examination. It is not clear if the boy has yet been released.
Nikolas Cruz had left Deschamps' mobile home in Lantana, Florida, at around Thanksgiving when he and Deschamps argued over him having a gun.
Bennett said she gave Cruz an ultimatum over the gun and he left, moving in with another family in northern Broward County.
"He bought a gun and wanted to bring it into my house," the woman said in comments that have since been deleted from her Facebook page.
However, the Palm Beach newspaper said it was not known if the gun Cruz wanted to bring into her home was the same AR-15 semi-automatic rifle used in Wednesday's mass shooting.
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