Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz has pled guilty to killing 17 people and attempting to kill another 17 people when he carried out the massacre of students and faculty members at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in February 2018.
The guilty plea has no conditions and the killer, aged 23, could be executed. Cruz made the statement to the families of his victims and said that it was their decision.
“I just want you to know I’m really sorry, and I hope you give me a chance to try to help others,” Cruz stated that he had pleaded guilty to all 34 charges within four minutes and addressed the families. “I believe it’s your decision to decide where I go, and whether I live or die. Not the jury’s. I believe it’s your decision. I’m sorry.”
Judge Elizabeth Scherer did remind him, however, that it will be the decision of a jury during the penalty trial, which begins January 4.
While Cruz could be delivered his minimum sentence, which is life in prison, the prosecution has said they will seek the death penalty, CNN reported.
“You will not come out until you are no longer alive, do you understand that?”Cruz was told by Scherer in court that his life is over regardless of the sentencing.
Before being placed in handcuffs and escorted from the courtroom, he spent a few moments in his apology speech telling the victims’ families that “I can’t even watch TV anymore,” and that “I hate drugs, and I believe this country would do better if everyone would stop smoking marijuana and doing all these drugs and causing racism and violence out in the streets.”
“We want him dead. We want him forgotten,” a victim’s family member told Inside Edition outside of the courthouse. “I don’t ever want to hear this kid’s name again.”