The gunman who carried out the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, pleaded guilty to all charges.
On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz opened fire at his former high school, killing 17 and injuring 14 others. About an hour after the shooting, Cruz was taken into custody off campus.
Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder on Wednesday. He addressed the court following the 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,” Cruz said.
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 explained, “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.”
The gunman claimed he hates drugs and believes “this country would do better if everybody would stop smoking marijuana and doing all these drugs and causing racism and violence out in the streets.”
Concluding his remarks, Cruz told the court, “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.”
Watch the video below:
"I'm very sorry for what I did and I have to live with it every day … and it brings me nightmares and I can't live with myself sometimes," said Nikolas Cruz, who pleaded guilty to the 2018 Valentine’s Day mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school. pic.twitter.com/fVamqNfREq
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) October 20, 2021
According to The Associated Press, the case will move on to a penalty trial where 12 jurors will decide whether Cruz should receive the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
As the outlet notes, the shootings led some students from the high school to create The March for Our Lives movement, advocating for increased gun restrictions across the country.
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