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Experts: Florida Shooter Showed 'Warning Signs' Prior To Shooting

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Experts say there were warning signs Parkland, Florida, shooter Nikolas Cruz could be violent and they could have been addressed sooner. 

Students at Cruz's old school called him a "troubled kid."

He even posted "disturbing" photos on his social media pages.

The Mental Health Association said they want to see schools catch these red flags before it's too late.

"We have concerns about untreated mental illness all the time," said Mike Brose, Mental Health Association OK CEO. 

Cruz's attorneys told a judge Thursday the shooter suffers from autism, depression and has significant psychological problems.

They also said Cruz is suicidal.

"When someone commits some sort of horrible act like this, you can't get away from the fact that there is some sort of mental health issue here," Brose said. 

Brose said from what he can tell, there were a lot of red flags.

"In this situation, everything I can read and tell, there were a lot of warning signs. He was putting things up on social media. People said, 'Oh him? Not surprised," Brose said. "You can't get into the cliches of, 'Oh, that's just him.' or 'They're just trying to get attention.'"

Brose said he knows hindsight is 20/20.

"In my opinion, it had the potential to be mitigated before it even happened," Brose said. 

But, he wants to help schools get a better communication system going, so we can stop viewing tragedies like this as a societal norm.

"We need their classmates to help, we need the staff, and we need parents to help us identify those things," he said. 

"Part of that communication system would have been to contact law enforcement immediately, lay out those warning signs and what have you. And hopefully law enforcement would go over and begin to engage him."

Brose said any sort of threat needs to be reported to keep others safe, but also get that person the help they need.

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