IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Nikolas Cruz, accused Parkland shooter, 'restless' in solitary, reports say

Revelations about Cruz's time in jail come as Florida prosecutors present their case for a formal indictment to a grand jury this week.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — He lies on his bunk and stares at the ceiling for hours. He avoids eye contact and keeps his head down. He was heard laughing at one point, and the only thing he has asked for is a Bible.

But three weeks in solitary confinement in a Florida cell hasn't ruined accused Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz's appetite, according to observation reports obtained Wednesday by NBC News that give a glimpse into the day-to-day existence of the most high-profile prisoner in the Broward County Jail.

The revelations came as the 19-year-old suspect was hit with a 34-count indictment for the Valentine's Day rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 dead.

Cruz was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the first degree and 17 counts of attempted murder in the first degree, State Attorney Michael Satz said.

Ever since Cruz was transferred from the infirmary to the jail, he has pretty much devoured most of the meals he has been served, including one of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with an apple, the reports state.

Six days after the shooting that sparked renewed national calls for gun control, Cruz was heard laughing during a Feb. 20 visit with his lawyer, the records revealed. It was not clear what prompted the laughter.

Related: Parkland students return to school two weeks after school shooting

Otherwise, Cruz has been quiet, "cooperative" and taking his medication, the records show. He remains segregated from other inmates for his own protection.

Still, Cruz has had trouble sleeping at times, "tossing and turning" and appearing "restless," the reports said.

Cruz's request for a Bible came 10 days after the Feb. 14 mass shooting and on the same day some family members visited him, according to the reports, which cover from Feb. 17 to 24.

The visitor log shows that Cruz's attorneys have been his most frequent visitors as well as investigators and a psychologist.

These insights into Cruz's life behind bars coincides with Florida prosecutors on Wednesday presenting their case for a formal indictment to a grand jury in Fort Lauderdale. Among those who testified were members of the Snead family, with whom Cruz was living at the time of the shooting.

Family attorney Jim Lewis told reporters after the Sneads' testimony that "nobody saw this coming, nobody could predict this." He added that "my clients are gun owners, and they're safe gun owners."

The first lawsuits in the case are also expected to be filed in the coming days.

Anthony Borges became the first Parkland student to file notice that he intends to sue for damages. Borges, the court papers state, was "shot five times, suffering life-threatening injuries" and remains hospitalized at Broward General Medical Center.

Related: For students, reminders of deadly shooting are 'everywhere you go'

Cruz was arrested shortly after the shooting after he was able to escape by filing out of the school with terrified students, authorities said. So far, other than the few words he has uttered during court appearances, he has made no public statements about the deadly episode.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited the school Wednesday and said afterward she spoke with a "small group of students that are having a particularly tough time." Her spokeswoman, Elizabeth Hill, said DeVos was trying to "minimize disruption on students' first full day back at school" and hopes to meet with more students in the "near future."

Senior Aly Sheehy and other students dismissed the DeVos visit as a "publicity" stunt and said she avoided answering tough questions.

Parkland students have been demanding a ban on the AR-15 rifle that police say Cruz was armed with — a proposal that both the Trump administration and the National Rifle Association oppose.

They have also been highly critical of President Donald Trump's suggestion that some teachers be armed to prevent further massacres.

DeVos, in remarks after the visit, pushed back somewhat against the idea of arming teachers.

"To say arming teachers is an oversimplification and a mischaracterization really," DeVos said. What the schools really need, she said, are "people who are expert in being able to defend, and having lots of training in order to do so."

While DeVos got a cool reception, it was all high-fives for Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade who was greeted with cheers when he showed up to support the students.

Meanwhile, the Florida House was preparing to vote on a school safety measure that would, among other things, allow some teachers and staffers to carry weapons.

It's not clear whether Gov. Rick Scott would sign a bill that includes that provision. Scott — a Republican expected to make a run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Bill Nelson — is already on the record saying he opposes arming teachers.

Matthew Vann reported from Fort Lauderdale, and Corky Siemaszko reported from New York.