The gunman who is accused of killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School wants to donate his six-figure inheritance to the families of the students he slaughtered during his Valentine’s Day rampage.
At a court hearing Wednesday, the lawyer for Nikolas Cruz said, “Mr. Cruz does not want those funds, whatever money that he is entitled to,” lawyer Melissa McNeill told a Florida judge, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “He would like that money donated to an organization that the victims’ family believes would be able to facilitate healing in our community or an opportunity to educate our community about the issues that have ripened over the last four or five months.”
The 19-year-old Cruz stands to inherit $800,000 from a trust fund when he turns 22 and is due to receive $25,000 from his late mother’s life insurance policy, multiple news outlets reported. In addition to a personal bank account in which he has just more than $350, he may also have a claim to $2,227 in shares of Microsoft stock. However, Cruz may no longer be entitled to that money, and it is unclear if the victims would accept such a gesture.
Wednesday’s court hearing was scheduled to determine whether Cruz has enough money to pay for a private lawyer. He is currently represented by the Broward Public Defender’s Office, which uses taxpayer money to represent clients that cannot afford their own lawyers. Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer has not yet made a ruling.
In previous court appearances, Cruz has remained quiet with his head bowed. His attorneys have said he is sad and remorseful, and the offer to donate his money has been the most apparent sign of his contrition.