Published On: Wed, Oct 20th, 2021

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz Speaks to Families of the Victims after Pleading Guilty

After pleading guilty on Wednesday to the 2018 shooting that killed 17 people, Parkland school shooter, Nikolas Cruz, spoke to the families of the victims.

After Broward County State Attorney Mike Satz read a prepared statement detailing the gruesome actions on Valentine’s Day 2018, Cruz was given the opportunity to speak to the families on the record.

Below is the complete transcript:

“I am very sorry for what I did and I have to live with it every day and if I were to get a second chance, I would do everything in my power to try to help others, 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 and it brings me nightmares and I can’t live with myself sometimes, but I try to push through because I know that’s what you guys would want me to do. I hate drugs and I believe this country would do better if everyone would stop smoking marijuana and doing all these drugs and causing racism and violence out in the streets. I’m sorry and I can’t even watch TV anymore, and I’m trying my best (to) maintain my composure and I just want you to know that I’m really sorry and I hope you give me a chance to try to help others if — I believe it’s your decision — to decide where I go, whether I live or die. Not the jury’s. I believe it is your decision, and I’m sorry.”

While his statement was a bit confusing, assistant public defender Melisa McNeill asked if she could clarify Cruz’s comments.

“I think what Mr. Cruz was saying was that, ultimately in his heart, he believes it should be the victims’ families that make the decision about life or death,” she said. “We have, however, explained to Mr. Cruz that it will, in fact, be the jury that will make that decision after the presentation of evidence of aggravators and mitigators in phase two. This, I believe, is just his personal belief. It is in conflict with the law, but he understands the law.”

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