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Zachary Cruz leaves South Florida for a fresh start in Virginia

Posted at 4:01 PM, May 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-14 09:41:32-04

Zachary Cruz left a dog boarding facility in Greenacres, Florida on Sunday with a dog named Coby in his arms. Coby is one of two family dogs he plans to take to his new home in Virginia.

Back on Valentines Day, Cruz's adopted brother Nikolas killed 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. 

"A lot of things I wish I would have done to prevent it, wish I could have stopped him somehow," Zachary said.

Zachary said he and his brother fought a lot when they were younger though their relationship improved as they grew.

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 "I felt I was too hard on him at times. He was a fragile person. Mom was always there for him," added he said.

A judge on Friday gave Zachary permission to move from South Florida. He was on probation after a March arrest for trespassing at Stoneman Douglas.

Zachary is being helped by the legal rights group Nexus Services. He'll get counseling, and a job as a maintenance technician.

"I think getting him to a new place where he can come out of the shadow of his brothers heinous act and get an opportunity is really important," said Mike Donovan with Nexus.

"I just want to end bullying, it's just dumb.  Everyone deserves to fit in," Zachary said.

As for his plans in Virginia, Zachary said he wants to finish high school, start an anti-bullying campaign and live his life.