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After arrests, Zachary Cruz took a photo driving — then sent it to his probation officer

Zachary Cruz, the brother of Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz, got his driver's license,  a fact he pointedly shared with his probation officer.
Zachary Cruz, the brother of Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz, got his driver's license, a fact he pointedly shared with his probation officer. Courtesy of Zachary Cruz

Just weeks after being arrested for driving without a license, Zachary Cruz, the brother of Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz, got behind the wheel.

Wearing a smile and a blue sweatshirt, the 18-year-old held the steering wheel and posed for a picture that would soon be emailed to his probation officer.

Subject line: "Zach is driving a car."

Body text: "Because he got his driving permit!!!!"

Attached was also a copy of his permit from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

On Sunday, he told the Miami Herald the email was lighthearted.

"I just want to make sure I don't get arrested again," Cruz said. "I thought sending my [probation officer] a photo would reassure them that if I was caught driving — this time it would be legal."

His probation officer's response? "Thank you for the update ... congratulations."

Early last month, Cruz was arrested for violating his probation by driving without a license. Two months before that, and just weeks after his brother murdered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, he was arrested for trespassing on school property. He was placed on a six-month probation.

About three weeks ago, a Broward judge allowed Cruz, who is under court supervision for his trespassing charge, to transfer his probation to Virginia. Hours before taking off, Cruz sat down with the Miami Herald for an exclusive interview.

"Driving feels bittersweet. It's lots of mixed feelings. I went to jail for this, so I'm making sure to drive perfectly. I can't afford to go not even one point over the speed limit," he said.

Cruz is currently in the care of Nexus Services, a company that says it helps people rebuild their lives after incarceration. He's currently working full-time on an anti-bullying campaign, which he plans to announce later this month.

The teen remains under court supervision, must check in with the Broward Sheriff's probation department and also wears an electronic ankle monitor.

Monique O. Madan, 305-376-2108, @MoniqueOMadan



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