In 2018, Nikolas Cruz, 23, walked into the high school, shot and killed 17 people.
The sentencing phase of the trial of Nikolas Cruz, the self-confessed perpetrator of slaughter took place at a high school in Parkland, Florida, United Statesbegan this Monday, the 18th, with the appeal of the prosecutor, who requested the death penalty for the accused from killings “cruel and cruel” of 17 people. It was “a horrific attack” planned months ago by Cruz at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, said attorney Michael Satz, who presented opening arguments to jurors in a Fort Lauderdale court. Satz gave a detailed account of the events, which caused some of the spectators to leave the courtroom visibly moved. Outside the courtroom where the hearing took place, there were “therapy dogs” to offer comfort to the families of the victims. At a table and slumped over, Nikolas Cruz, now 23 and whom Satz described as “cold, calculating, manipulative and deadly,” wrote letters that he passed to his team members, to whom he sometimes whispered, without lifting head. The prosecutor argued that there are as many as seven aggravating factors in the case that warrant the death penalty for Cruz, which will be strong enough to overcome any arguments about the youth’s mental health and childhood that the defense might make.
One of these aggravating factors is the video in which the young man warned three days ago that he would be the next school shooter who intended to kill 20 people with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. “They’re all going to die,” Cruz said in the video the prosecutor showed during the hearing, which was attended by dozens of victims’ families. Satz told the hearing presided over by Judge Elizabeth Scherer where and how many shots were fired at each of the fatal shooting victims in the “forementioned premeditated and malicious shooting” that also injured 17 people. In the seven minutes that the attack lasted, from the time he started shooting until he put the gun on a step, Cruz fired 139 shots, the prosecutor told the 12-member jury, made up of seven men and five women. The defense, which is seeking life in prison for the young man, declined to present opening arguments at Monday’s hearing and asked to do so when it comes time to present its case, which could be in a few weeks.
*With information from EFE