BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida jury reached a verdict Wednesday to determine whether Parkland mass murderer Nikolas Cruz should be executed for the 2018 school massacre that resulted in 17 deaths and another 17 people wounded.
The Broward County jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on a recommendation for the death penalty in the initial counts. Hence, they recommended that Cruz should get life in prison but not the death penalty in some counts, Fox News reported. Their verdict was presented in court Thursday morning.
Cruz, 24, sat stoically in court Thursday and was surrounded by law enforcement personnel while the verdicts were read.
Cruz pleaded guilty last year to the murders of 14 students and three staff members at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018. The condemned murderer said he selected the specific date so the school would never celebrate Valentine’s Day again, Fox News reported.
The disturbed gunman fired volleys from an AR-15-style semi-automatic down hallways and into classrooms for about seven minutes, returning to those who lay wounded to execute them.
Cruz purchased the rifle nearly a year prior to the shooting and began to seriously plan his heinous homicides about seven months in advance.
The imposition of Cruz’ sentence was deferred until Nov. 1 in order for the court to hear victim impact statements at the behest of prosecutors.