Uvalde killer's cousin threatens school shooting

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

There’s a lot about mass shooters we don’t know. That said, there doesn’t appear to be a genetic component to such things. If so, we’d expect to see more family members engaged in such behavior and, well, we don’t.



However, the Uvalde killer’s relatives might not all be upstanding citizens.

After all, his cousin was just arrested after threatening to carry out another school shooting.

The cousin of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooter was arrested in San Antonio after threatening to commit a school shooting.

Nathan James Cruz, 17, was arrested on a felony charge of making a terroristic threat to the public and a misdemeanor charge of making a terroristic threat against a family member, according to Bexar County Central Magistrate records.

It was Cruz’s mother who called the police and reported threats that her son had made, Officer Nick Soliz of the San Antonio Police Department tells NPR.

Soliz confirms that Cruz is a cousin of [Uvalde killer’s name redacted], the 18-year-old who killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary in Uvalde last year.

Cruz told his sister that he was planning “to do the same thing” as his cousin, according to an affidavit obtained by NPR.

Cruz has been charged with making a terroristic threat against the public, a third-degree felony in Texas.


So, what gives? What’s going on here?

Honestly, it’s going to be impossible for us to say for certain. It’s entirely possible that Cruz was just trying to sound dangerous and really had no intention of following through on such a threat, but literally no one is going to take that chance.

Especially not after his cousin killed 21 people just a year ago.

In the process, though, Cruz’s family did what people should be doing when such a threat is made, even if it’s not particularly serious. I hate to say it, but the risks of not saying anything are too high to just ignore it.

We don’t know if Cruz had access to a firearm or not–that’s not included in the report one way or the other–but we do know that Texas tries 17-year-olds as adults, which means that he’s looking at prison time, and he might be there for a while.

A third-degree felony comes with a sentence of not less than two years and not more than 10 years. Considering the context, I doubt Cruz would be looking at the lower end of this scale.

Of course, that’s assuming we don’t see some kind of plea bargain.


Either way, Cruz’s threats are made all the more horrifying because of Uvalde and his own ties to that atrocity. As such, his options are likely to be limited.

I’m just glad that I’m writing about Cruz being arrested for threatening something like Uvalde and not about him carrying out something like Uvalde.

The thing we all need to do is take threats of mass shootings very, very seriously. If people are doing strange things that look like they’re planning a shooting–and no, buying guns isn’t in and of itself a troubling, strange thing–report it.

Don’t play around and assume it’s idle talk. Especially if someone is related to a mass shooter and thinks what their relative did sounds like a fun time.

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