Parkland school shooting update: Jury hears opening statement in Nikolas Cruz death sentence trial

(FILE) Footage released shows an officer standing outside the Parkland school as the shooting took place

Nikolas Cruz, the man convicted of shooting dead 17 people and injuring 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, faces sentencing trial for his crimes.

Cruz, a former student at the school, was just 19 when he took part in a shooting in what turned out to be one of the deadliest school massacres in US history.

He then surrendered to police and pleaded guilty to 17 counts of first degree murder and 17 of attempted murder.

Cruz was part of the school’s air rifle team that was expelled due to his disciplinary record. He had arrived at the school with a legally purchased AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle and shot and killed 14 students and three staff. The shooting sparked a nationwide protest demanding tougher gun control measures.

While prosecutors are asking for the death penalty for Cruz, his lawyers are hoping for a life sentence.

DISCLAIMER – Graphical Content: Video captured by students that day was released in court with a public audio broadcast.


Video shows Nikolas Cruz’s reaction as audio of the shooting plays in court

The court played Monday the audio of the shots of Nikolas Cruz in the gallery where the parents of the victims were present. The audio was recorded by shooting witness Danielle Gilbert on her mobile phone, who was also present in court.

While parents and others in court were unable to view the video, the jury was able to view video of open gunfire at students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

As the audio played for nearly two minutes, many family members were seen in tears and some were also seen walking out of court.


What happened during the Parkland Massacre?

As the community of Parkland prepares for the sentencing trial of Nikolas Cruz, the man who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018, The IndependentRachel Sharp investigates what led to the massacre and what has happened since.


How the Parkland shooter Cruz reacted to the opening statement

Law and crimeAngenette Levy describes Nikolas Cruz’s reactions as the prosecution recounted the horrific events of February 14, 2018.

As the court watched the harrowing video clips taken by survivors of the massacre, Cruz put his head in his hands as he sat flanked by his lawyers.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz looks down as the penalty phase of his trial begins



Hero’s widow speaks about trauma as Parkland victims remembered

Chris Hixon was murdered along with 16 others in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day 2018. His widow Debbi Hixon recounts The Independent‘s Rachel Sharp how she hopes her killer’s conviction trial will finally allow her family to start crying.


Five bystanders shot dead when Denver police opened fire on a man with a gun

Officers shot and injured five bystanders when they opened fire on a bustling crowd shortly after a man pointed a gun in their direction, the Denver Police Department said.

Early Sunday morning, a group of police patrolled a popular downtown Denver nightlife area as bars began to close. A man in the crowd, Jordan Waddy, 21, allegedly pointed a gun in the direction of police, leading officers to draw their own guns and open fire as bar-goers continued to pour into the streets.

Johanna Chisholm has the story.


“It’s very difficult to listen to”

look Law and crime‘s Angenette Levy recaps prosecutor Michael Satz’s opening statement on the first day of Nikolas Cruz’s sentencing trial for the Parkland High School massacre.


Indiana mall shooting: Gunman identified as killing four, injuring two

The suspect in the Indiana mall shooting that left three dead and two injured has been identified as 20-year-old Jonathan Sapirman.

Sapirman, of Greenwood, was killed after he opened fire in the Greenwood Park shopping center on Sunday night, police said Monday.

The three innocent victims killed in the shooting were also named Pedro Pineda, 56; Rosa Mirian Rivera from Pineda, 37; and Victor Gomez, 30. All three were from Indianapolis.



Court in recreation for the day

The state’s next witness isn’t due in town until tonight, so court adjourns early today.

The jury is excused for the day by Judge Scherer.


New witness: Gaton Nieves

Gaston Nieves speaks. He is a digital video examiner for the FBI and has held that position for 18 years.

Mr. Nieves’ role is to protect, extract and examine digital evidence of anything that stores such assets.

He also identifies the school’s server and explains that when they took over custody of the server, they changed the password for easier access.

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