Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz sentenced to life in prison, called a ‘monster’ by victims’ family members

The shooter who killed 17 people in the Parkland shooting has been sentenced to prison life without parole on Wednesday for the 2018 high school massacre in Florida. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer had no choice but to impose the sentence as a jury in the penalty trial could not unanimously agree that Nikolas Cruz deserved the death penalty.

Before the shooter officially receives his sentence for the St. Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in suburban Fort Lauderdale, family members of the victims and survivors of the shooting had time to speak to him.

“It was extremely painful to hear all the horrific details of this high school massacre of our children,” said Annika Dworet, who along with her husband, Mitch, attended the shooter’s trial each day. “Just being in the same room as that monster who killed our son Nicholas and tried to murder our son Alex. It’s unbearable.”

She continued: “One of the most disgusting and unprofessional acts that happened in this courtroom was the defense team holding, touching and laughing with this murderer in cold blood.”

The gunman, chained and dressed in a red prison jumpsuit, looked over the loudspeakers but showed little emotion, as he had the day before. He removed a face mask after Jennifer Guttenberg, Jaime Guttenberg’s mother, told him he shouldn’t wear one.

“It’s disrespectful to hide your expressions under your mask while we as families sit here talking to you, hunched over in your seat, hunched over, trying to make you look innocent when you’re not.” , Guttenberg said.


‘You’re a monster’: Relatives of Parkland shooting victims speak to shooter ahead of sentencing

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Since Tuesday, family members of the victims and some of the 17 injured survivors of the shooting have not lost the opportunity to fight verbally the face-to-face shooter after almost five years.

“The idea that you, a cold-blooded killer, can actually live every day, eat your meals and hang your head at night seems completely unfair,” teacher Stacey Lippel, who was injured in the shooting, told the shooter. shooting. “The only comfort I have is that your life in prison will be filled with horror and fear, so I hope for you that you die, sooner rather than later.”

Those who spoke walked to a lectern about 20ft from the 24-year-old shooter, looked him in the eye, and let out their anger and grief. Many have also criticized a Florida law that requires unanimity of the jury for a death sentence to be handed down – jurors voted 9-3 on October 13 for execution.

“He escaped this punishment because a minority of the jury was given the power to overrule the majority decision made by people who got to see him for what he is – a remorseless monster who deserves no please,” Meghan Petty said. His younger sister, Alaina, 14, died when the shooter fired his AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle into his classroom as he roamed the halls of a three-story building for seven minutes, shooting 140 strokes. He had been planning the shoot for seven months.

“A person must be incredibly sick to want to hurt another human being. Even sicker to dwell on the desire and hatch a plan and incredibly evil to carry out that plan, which has not only hurt people, but put end to lives,” she said. “To add insult to murder, he was even arrogant enough to plan a disguise believing he would be able to escape his actions while my sister lay dying on a dirty classroom floor. .”

The shooter, a then 19-year-old former Stoneman Douglas student, wore a schoolboy shirt so he could blend in with the fleeing students during his escape. He was arrested an hour later.

Patricia Oliver, who lost her son Joaquin, rose up on Tuesday against the defense lawyers who had argued that their client should be spared due to his mother’s drug and alcohol abuse during her pregnancy and he never received the help he needed.

“Karma,” she said, “will eventually catch up with you all.

Patricia Padauy Oliver speaks during the sentencing hearing for high school shooter Marjory Stoneman Douglas Nikolas Cruz at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on November 1, 2022.
Patricia Padauy Oliver speaks during the sentencing hearing for high school shooter Marjory Stoneman Douglas Nikolas Cruz at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on November 1, 2022.

Amy Beth Bennett/Pool via Reuters


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