Home World Parkland High School gunman pleads guilty to 17 murders

Parkland High School gunman pleads guilty to 17 murders

Parkland High School gunman pleads guilty to 17 murders

“I’m really sorry for what I did,” apologized to the families of the victims, the perpetrator of the 2018 Parkland Florida high school shooting. “I carry the weight every day,” added Nikolas Cruz, 23, who was 19 on the day of the incident. On Valentine’s Day in 2018, he opened fire with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, from which he had been expelled the previous year for “disciplinary reasons.” A drama that shocked American public opinion and beyond the country’s borders.

Facing the death penalty, the juvenile-looking defendant, hunched body and bowed head, pleaded guilty to the 17 murders in an uncertain voice, in a crowded courtroom. “It gives me nightmares, I find it hard to live with myself sometimes,” he continued, his gaze fixed on the ground. “If I were to be given a second chance, I would do everything in my power to help others,” pleaded Nikolas Cruz, floating in a blue shirt and wearing large glasses.

“It’s up to you to decide if I live or die”

Addressing the families of the victims, he said: “I believe it is up to you to decide where I go, whether I live or die, not the jury.” Some relatives of the 17 people killed by Nikolas Cruz were in the room, and listened, their eyes misted with tears, to the freezing account of the events given by the prosecutor. He will now have to be presented to a jury for his sentence to be fixed. Prosecutors have confirmed they will seek the death penalty.

The shooting was the worst school massacre in the United States since the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 26 people were killed.

“What does my massacre begin today?”

Despite his psychiatric history, Nikolas Cruz, then 19, was able to legally buy an assault rifle. Like other perpetrators of killings in the United States, Nikolas Cruz had preceded his crimes by recording a video. “Let my massacre begin today. Let all the frightened children run and hide. Faced with the wrath of my power, they will learn who I am, ”he said. “I am nothing, I am nobody, my life is nothing and has no meaning”, he added, specifying that he would go a little later to his old school in an Uber vehicle armed with an AR rifle. -15.

The Parkland drama had aroused immense emotion, and a historic mobilization was led by several young survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and by the parents of the victims. It culminated on March 24, 2018 when the “March for Our Lives” had brought together 1.5 million people across the country, the largest national demonstration for better regulation of firearms in the history of the United States. , suggesting to some the possibility of legislative development.

This was not the case, and firearms sales have on the contrary increased in recent years in the United States, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Massive shootings remain a scourge in the country, but blockades in Congress, under the influence of the gun lobby, make any major breakthrough on the subject unlikely.

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