OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (CBS 2) — A devastated family is demanding change.
The parents of the youngest victim of New Jersey’s supermarket massacre broke their silence on Thursday and are now fighting for what could become “Cristina’s Law” — something they say would prevent future tragedies, CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported exclusively.
Back in August, former Marine Terence Tyler showed up at work at the Pathmark store in Old Bridge armed with an assault-style rifle and several other weapons. He randomly opened fire on fellow employees, killing 24-year-old Bryan Breen and 18-year-old Cristina LoBrutto before committing suicide.
“Nobody should go through this. It was a senseless killing, and it could have been avoided,” said Eddie LoBrutto, Cristina’s father.
Cristina LoBrutto’s parents said their daughter’s killer needed help, and the red flags were all over the Internet.
Tyler had only worked at Pathmark for less than two weeks and had passed a background check. It wasn’t until after the shooting that disturbing postings were found on various social media sites, including a posting on Twitter three years ago that read “is it normal to want to kill all of ur coworkers? Maybe but i’m actually in a position where i can.”
“The shooter had posted several comments on his Twitter and Facebook profiles that almost exactly spelled out what he did,” said Christian Navarro, Cristina LoBrutto’s friend.
Navarro was one of Cristina’s best friends. They had attended prom together and had graduated from Old Bridge High School just two months before the shooting.
Now, Navarro, along with Cristina’s little sister, Michelle, and her friends are working to rally support for what they’re calling “Cristina’s Law.” It would require businesses to look into the social media history of potential employees as part of the background check.
The law would not apply to comments that are password protected, only to postings that are accessible to the public. The mayor of Old Bridge said he supports the idea, adding the law would not be an invasion of privacy.
“What about Cristina’s rights? What about Bryan’s rights? You know, they had rights, too. They had a right to know that they were working with somebody like this, who had a potential of going ballistic,” Mayor Owen Henry said.
Cristina’s sister said if the law is passed there will be a celebration.
“It’s gonna be a happy day for us knowing that we are helping other people out there, and we are saving lives. Because that’s what Cristina would want, us to save other people’s lives,” Michelle LoBrutto said.
Cristina LoBrutto lost her life the week before she was supposed to start college.
“She was so happy. She was so excited to go to college,” mother Maria LoBrutto said.
Cristina LoBrutto had planned to study psychology. Her parents said she dreamed of helping the type of troubled person who ended up taking her life.
The LoBrutto family is trying to get support for Cristina’s Law through an online petition on change.org.
Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …