Too Many Unanswered Questions in Broward County Shooting & Medication Involvement
February 14th proved to be anything but a loving Valentine’s Day in Broward County Florida this year when one 19 year old young man walked into his former high school and opened fire leaving 17 dead. Less than two weeks later, many are still searching for answers and learning more and more about this troubled young man and the over abundant signs given to both the Department of Children & Family Services and its vendor, Henderson Behavioral Health, the Out Patient Mental Health Center where Cruz was receiving treatment.
Henderson Behavioral Health is South Florida’s oldest and largest mental health provider. Its website totes that “Prevention Works, Treatment is Effective and People Recover” next to images of smiling families. In October 2012, Henderson took a 1.6 million dollar grant from the Center for Mental Health Services of the Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In December 2016 Broward County itself received a $22 million dollar federal mental health grant from the NIMH of which $7.3 million went to Henderson Behavioral Health.
The Broward County Commissioners met on February 27th to discuss the recent school shooting. After this meeting, the Sun Sentinel reported that Broward County plans its own investigation into the shooting. According to the Commissioner, Mark Bogen, “We are the only body right now that has no conflict of interest”. No conflict of interest? Is Mr. Bogen aware that his county took the $22 million dollar grant and gave Henderson Behavioral Health where Cruz was treated, 7.3 million dollars?
One would hope that any investigation of this matter is handled by an outside party not affiliated with Broward County in any way to ensure the integrity of the investigative process.
According to the Department of Children and Family Services in a press release February 19, 2018, they readily admit Cruz was receiving mental health services and taking medication. Where it gets murky is when DCF’s Secretary, Mike Carroll claims that the agency only had one involvement with Cruz contradicting a report from the Sun Sentinel titled School Shooter Nikolas Cruz: An Unending Saga of Disturbed Behavior and Red Flags. The Sentinel reports that records from DCF show Cruz had been diagnosed with a string of disorders and conditions to include: Depression, ADHD, Emotional Behavioral Disability, and Autism.
We know Cruz was on medication but don’t know just how many or which ones. It has been reported that he had hallucinations, was suicidal at one point, and stated that he had demons in his head that made him do the shooting, all sounding a lot like side effects that the FDA often warns about with psychiatric drugs prescribed for the multiple labels he was diagnosed with.
After all there have been 22 drug regulatory agency warnings from 5 countries and the European Union, on psychiatric drugs causing violence, hostility, aggression, psychosis, mania, and homicidal ideation. At least 36 school shooters were on one or more psychiatric drugs linked to violence. There are now many reports of these fatal acts of violence that can no longer go unnoticed. The media or a politician’s claim that the person “went off his meds” or “was not being treated” is not a fact. This type of message to the public implies it is only then that these types of side effects occur. According to the MedWatch reporting system this propaganda simply isn’t true and is dangerous to the consumer and to public safety.
AbleChild has discovered that the Mayor of Broward County, Beam Furr, has access to Nikolas Cruz’s mental health records and appears to be selectively releasing portions of them. AbleChild has reached out to Mayor Furr concerning this selective release and to stress the importance of knowing what medications Cruz was on. The public has been put at risk with these kinds of violent acts, making it a public health crisis. Citizens should have the right to know the exact medications Cruz was taking, the names, dosage amounts, history of bloodwork, and if a MedWatch form was ever filed to report any side effects to the FDA. After all these drugs are marketed to the public and known side effects puts the public at risk.