Nikolas Cruz, the gunman accused of opening fire during last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has been receiving love letters and other supportive mail while in jail, the public defender’s office said.
Supporters have sent greeting cards, letters and some suggestive photographs to Cruz during his incarceration at Broward County Jail, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Wednesday. The news outlet obtained copies of the correspondence sent to the 19-year-old as he awaits trial.
Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, whose office is representing Cruz, told NBC 6 that the letters were coming from men, woman and teenage girls. Additionally, his commissary account has gained $800 in contributions.
“There’s piles of letters,” said Finkelstein. “In my 40 years as public defender, I’ve never seen this many letters to a defendant. Everyone now and then gets a few, but nothing like this.”
Love letters to a mass shooter. In 40 years the public defender has never seen so much mail for an inmate. Nikolas Cruz has received letters, books and money from as far away as England @nbc6 pic.twitter.com/hRKp3JRf2k
— Dan Krauth (@DanNBC6) March 29, 2018
“I reserve the right to care about you, Nikolas!” a Texas woman wrote in a greeting card six days after Cruz was accused of opening fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, leaving 17 students and adults dead.
A Chicago woman sent nine scantily clad pictures of herself, including images of her cleavage and another of her naked rear-end.
“No one else is dealing w/your demons, meaning maybe defeating them could be the beginning of your meaning, friend,” an 18-year-old New Yorker wrote. “I know you could use a good friend right now. Hang in there and keep your head up.”
Cruz is reportedly on suicide watch and is not allowed to receive mail. Jail officials have yet to physically give him the items, which is run through a screening process.
“We read a few religious ones to him that extended wishes for his soul and to come to God,” Finkelstein told the Sun Sentinel, “But we have not and will not read him the fan letters or share the photos of scantily-clad teenage girls.”
Finkelstein added that the attention worried him because “they are written by regular, everyday teenage girls from across the nation.”
Cruz reportedly faces charges including 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. He first appeared in court on Feb. 15.