After tearful victim comments, the Parkland school shooter was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole.


Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland school shooter who killed 14 students and three staff members in 2018, was officially sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole by a Florida judge on Wednesday.

Cruz, 24, was spared the death penalty as per the jury’s recommendation and given a life sentence in prison by Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer.

Cruz was leaning toward receiving the death penalty while the jury deliberated last month (9-3), but according to Florida law, the verdict is automatically changed to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The defense had requested life in prison, while the prosecution had requested the death sentence. Family relatives of the victims were noticeably shaken by the jury’s judgment on October 13, and they were visibly upset by it.


On Wednesday, Scherer sentenced Cruz on a total of 34 counts of murder or attempted murder after first expressing her admiration for the victims’ and their loved ones’ fortitude.

“Family members, I appreciate the opportunity to get to know each and every one of your loved ones. They won’t be forgotten, I can assure you, Scherer remarked. I would do anything to ease your suffering or carry it for you for just five minutes so you could breathe.

Most of the victims or their loved ones remained silent while Scherer read the sentences for each of the nearly three dozen counts, though some sobbed. Cruz didn’t change his expression.

Cruz’s mental illness was blamed for his Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting rampage at his former school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, according to the defense during the three-month penalty phase of the trial.

Cruz admitted admission to 17 charges of murder in October 2021.
You gave many others, including myself, a lifetime of trauma, suffering, and pain.

Ilan Alhadeff, the father of the murdered 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff, stated in his victim impact statement on Wednesday that he finds little satisfaction in Cruz’s unavoidable life sentence. Alhadeff claimed that he deserved to die.

“Let me express my rage and frustration with the legal system. The murderer of my daughter and 16 others was not given the death penalty after 4 and a half agonizing years, the man claimed. Do I perceive this as an obligation? Without a doubt. Do we now have a resolution? To be clear, I say without a doubt. I see that the system valued this animal’s life over the lives of the 17 who are currently deceased. Worse, we told the next murderer out there that the death sentence would not be used in cases of mass murder. This is incorrect and needs to be corrected right away.

During the carnage, Sam Fuentes was shot in the leg and hit in the face by shrapnel. Cruz killed two of her pals, she claimed in court on Wednesday.

I was shot in the leg by you. You could see the burns from the hot shrapnel that was stuck in my face if you looked at me in the same way that I’m looking at you right now. Do you recall standing outside the door of my classroom after you shot everyone inside to check your work? Do you recall seeing my tiny, bleeding face staring back at you? We appeared to have locked eyes, she claimed.

“The effects of this will affect me for the rest of my life. PTSD, despair, anxiety, and suicide thoughts will always plague me.

Fuentes added, “You caused lifetime stress, grief, and suffering for me and many others, long after you committed this crime, and for what? You are suddenly a nobody. You are not unique. You are no longer in control. You’ll leave this and lead the most unremarkable, pitiful existence—one that I only hope will be painful for you.

Prior to Jennifer Guttenberg, the mother of victim Jaime Guttenberg, reprimanding Cruz during her victim impact statement, Cruz was seen for the most of the hearing wearing a mask.

“You shouldn’t be seated there wearing a mask. When we, the families, are sitting here talking to you, it’s insulting to be hiding your expressions under your mask, she said him.

The next time the camera panned to Cruz’s face, he was not concealing his face. It’s unknown who took it down.
On Wednesday, Victoria Gonzalez spoke in court on the passing of her 17-year-old lover, Joaquin Oliver.

Gonzalez claimed that in addition to losing her best friend in the mass shooting, she also lost her capacity for love. She now finds it difficult to develop genuine friendships and is lonely since she is constantly looking over her shoulder.

Gonzalez revealed to Cruz that he almost blew Oliver’s head off while wearing his shirt.

Gonzalez added, “I wish you had met Joaquin; he would have been your friend.” He would have reached out and touched you. You have his undying affection.”

I’m sorry you never experienced the love this planet has to offer, she continued.

Scott Beigel’s mother, Linda Beigel Schulman, said her son saved students’ lives before the shooter took his own. Scott Beigel was a geography teacher and cross-country coach at the school.

Cruz will face “prison justice,” according to Beigel Schulman’s statement on Wednesday.

“You will spend the rest of your wretched life having to glance over your shoulder worrying about every single minute of your day, of your life, afraid out of your mind, fearful that someone will take you out,” the proverb states.

You tried to kill me even though you don’t know me.
Other survivors and the loved ones of the victims had the opportunity to provide impact statements on Tuesday.
Cruz was told by Stacey Lippel, a teacher who had been shot but lived, “You don’t know me, yet you tried to murder me.”

She addressed Cruz in front of the court, looked him in the eyes, and stated, “I will have a scar on my arm and the memory of you pointing your pistol at me etched in my brain forever.”

“Dread at the recollections of what you left behind in your wake and the guilt that I am left with because I wish I could’ve done more to save my coworkers and kids that you killed,” she said, adding that she is left with feelings of horror and remorse.

I wish that your identity and presence are obliterated from society, the gunman’s wife Debbi Hixon told the shooter. Chris Hixon was a teacher who raced into the school to try to stop the shooter.

Ben Wikander’s parents spoke of their son’s excruciating anguish and his protracted path to recovery, claiming he still has a ways to go. Ben Wikander was a student who survived being shot in the back, abdomen, and arm.

Ben Wikander’s father, Eric Wikander, remarked, “Unfortunately, whatever agony you face in prison will be a fraction of what Ben felt.”

Father of the victim Alex Schachter, 14, Max Schachter argued that Cruz had had a lot of mental health care and criticized the defense attorneys for saying he had gotten lost in the system.

“So many individuals in this nation struggle with mental illness,” he remarked. “They’re not killing and torturing innocent people,” was the statement.