FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The shaken jurors were shown Tuesday graphic video of Parkland school gunner Nikolas Cruz gunning down defenseless students at point-blank range.
The footage — which was not shown in the court gallery at Cruz’s sentencing hearing — evoked pained expressions on the faces of the seven men and five women who will decide whether the admitted mass murderer should be executed or imprisoned for life.
Cruz, 23, rested his head on the defense table as jurors viewed footage of his 2018 shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where he shot 17 people with an AR-15 rifle.
The videos, captured by school surveillance cameras with no sound, showed Cruz returning to some of the wounded and firing at them again.
Prosecutors later called a ceremonial parade of survivors to the witness stand to testify about their memories of the massacre.
Samantha Fuentes, now a student, said she took cover behind a podium as then-19-year-old Cruz sprayed bullets in her classroom.
“I stuck my head past the podium to look at the door,” she told the court. “That’s where I saw Cruz standing. After he finished shooting, he stood by the window by the door.”
With several of her classmates dead nearby, Fuentes said she felt severe pain and feared she had been beaten.
“I noticed I had holes in my pants,” she told the court. “I had blood running from my forehead to my chest. I had blood in my eyes and all over my face and in my hair. I borrowed one of my friends to take a quick look and what you would have seen would have disgusted you.”
Fuentes described the grisly aftermath of Cruz’s attack after police finally entered her classroom.
“I looked at my dead friends and turned around, and they told me to run out of the building,” she said. “And they told me to look down and not up, and there I passed the bodies of two students in the hallway.”
Fuentes suffered a gunshot wound to the knee and serious shrapnel injuries that plague her to this day, limiting her mobility and flaring up in cold weather.
English teacher Dara Hass wept as she recalled the chaos in her class after gunfire began. Three of her students were killed.
“It was so loud, I remember shaking,” she said. “The students screamed. Students came up to my desk and yelled and yelled.”
As if describing a war zone, Hass said her room was obliterated by Cruz’s cannon shot.
“You could smell the sulfur coming out of the cannons, debris was flying around the room, the students were crying,” she said while dabbing at her eyes. “So many students had been injured.”
Cruz has already pleaded guilty to 17 murders.
Prosecutors are pushing for the death penalty, while his defense calls for life without parole given his difficult upbringing and mental retardation.
https://nypost.com/2022/07/19/videos-at-parkland-trial-show-killer-nikolas-cruz-shooting-victims/ Videos at the Parkland trial show killer Nikolas Cruz shooting victims