The father of a victim who lost her life during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 spoke out about the gunman’s apology following his guilty plea.
Nikolas Cruz, the gunman who opened fire at his former high school in Parkland, Florida, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Tony Montalto appeared on CNN to give his reaction to Cruz’s apology. Montalto’s 14-year-old daughter was killed during the shooting.
“Quite frankly, it’s absolutely ridiculous. If he wanted to apologize, he shouldn’t have murdered Gina and the 16 other people that day,” Montalto said.
He added, “We saw a cold and calculating killer admit to murdering my beautiful daughter Gina and 16 others. Also, he admitted to attempting to kill another 17 people. He’s clearly a very dangerous man.”
When asked if he thinks Cruz has taken responsibility, Montalto replied, “No, there’s no responsibility.”
He continued, “This is all just a little bit of theater, and it allows the defense to be able to focus on attempting to save his life in the penalty phase of the trial.”
Montalto said he believes Cruz “deserves as much of a chance as he gave my daughter and everyone else on February 14, 2018.”
Watch his comments below:
“I think he deserves as much of a chance as he gave my daughter and everyone else on February 14th of 2018,” Tony Montalto says after Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty and apologized in court today. Montalto’s 14-year-old daughter was killed in the shooting. pic.twitter.com/RFsALgOMxq
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) October 20, 2021
Cruz told the court following his guilty plea, “I am very sorry for what I did, and I have to live with it every day. And that if I were to get a second chance, I would do everything in my power to try to help others.”
He continued, “And I am doing this for you and I do not care if you do not believe me and I love you. And I know you don’t, believe me. But I have to live with this every day.”
Cruz went on to say, “It brings me nightmares and I cannot live with myself some times but I try to push through because I know that’s what you guys would want me to do.”
Finally, he explained, “I hope you give me a chance to try to help others, I believe it’s your decision to decide where I go and whether I live or die, not the jury’s decision I believe it’s your decision. I’m sorry.”
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