Parkland shooter addresses court as he pleads guilty in high school massacre

·1 min read
Parkland shooter addresses court as he pleads guilty in high school massacre

Nikolas Cruz pleaded guilty Wednesday to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for killing 17 and injuring 17 others in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting.

Cruz replied "guilty" when Judge Elizabeth Scherer asked how he wanted to plea to the slaying or wounding of each victim. Parents of the slain students watched from the courtroom and wiped tears from their eyes.

MORE: Parkland 3 years later: How survivors, parents are channeling trauma into change

Cruz said in court, "I am very sorry for what I did and I have to live with it every day. … It brings me nightmares and I can't live with myself sometimes."

PHOTO: Press members observe the image of the Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz through the Media Room's displays at the courtroom at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Oct. 20, 2021. (Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich/EPA via Shutterstock)
PHOTO: Press members observe the image of the Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz through the Media Room's displays at the courtroom at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Oct. 20, 2021. (Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich/EPA via Shutterstock)

Cruz said he believes the victims should be the ones to decide whether he gets the death penalty.

A jury will decide if Cruz, 23, will get the death penalty or life in prison.

MORE: Remembering the 17 victims

On Feb. 14, 2018, Cruz, then 19, gunned down 14 students and three staff members at his former school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He was taken into custody that day.

PHOTO: In this Feb.14, 2018 file photo people are brought out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting at the school in Parkland, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: In this Feb.14, 2018 file photo people are brought out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting at the school in Parkland, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images, FILE)

Manuel Oliver, father of 17-year-old victim Joaquin Oliver, told ABC News Live Friday, "I can’t wait for this to be over so I can move on, at least without the weight of not knowing what's going to happen to this person."

Last week Cruz pleaded guilty to charges in connection to his attack on a jail guard in 2018.

PHOTO: Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz before pleading guilty on all four criminal counts stemming from his alleged attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Oct. 15, 2021. (Amy Beth Bennett/Pool via Reuters, FILE)
PHOTO: Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz before pleading guilty on all four criminal counts stemming from his alleged attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Oct. 15, 2021. (Amy Beth Bennett/Pool via Reuters, FILE)

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Parkland shooter addresses court as he pleads guilty in high school massacre originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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