Jurors See Florida College Shooter’s Violent Web Posts – #information
In an impassive monotone, Broward County sheriff’s Detective Nick Masters learn a whole lot of searches and feedback Cruz made beginning seven months earlier than the Feb. 14, 2018, bloodbath as prosecutors attempt to show he deliberate it.
They included searches concerning the mass shootings at Columbine Excessive College in 1999, a movie show within the Denver suburbs in 2012, Virginia Tech College in 2007, a South Carolina church in 2015, and a Las Vegas nation music live performance in 2017.
In feedback, Cruz praised Elliot Rodger, who killed six folks in 2014 earlier than taking his personal life and has change into a touchstone amongst disturbed younger males who determine as “involuntary celibates” or “incels” as a result of girls received’t date them.
In posts on YouTube, Cruz wrote “I wanna kill folks,” “I’m going to be an expert college shooter,” “I’ve no drawback taking pictures a woman within the chest” and “No mercy.” He wrote “It makes me completely happy to see folks die” adopted by a smiley face emoji and “I like to see the familys endure.”
About two months earlier than his assault, Cruz turned his focus towards Stoneman Douglas, the varsity he periodically attended earlier than he was expelled in early 2017. He researched the varsity’s working hours and pulled up a campus map.
Lastly, lower than 24 hours earlier than the bloodbath, he looked for, “How lengthy does it take a cop to point out up at a faculty taking pictures?” He fled the varsity after seven minutes.
Among the seven males and 5 girls on the jury and their 10 alternates scribbled madly as Cruz’s phrases had been posted on video screens in entrance of them. Victims’ dad and mom and members of the family within the gallery audibly gasped as they noticed the posts, with some shaking their heads.
Beneath questioning by Cruz’s legal professional, Masters stated all of the posts had been in public boards and lots of beneath his personal title. He stated that, to his data, Google and YouTube had no technique for finding and reporting such posts and searches.
Cruz, 23, pleaded responsible to 17 counts of first-degree homicide in October, which means the jury will resolve solely whether or not he’s sentenced to dying or life with out parole. The taking pictures left 14 college students, a instructor, the athletic director, and an assistant soccer coach lifeless.
Earlier Wednesday, a jail guard testified that Cruz attacked him with little warning 9 months after the bloodbath and tried to wrest away his electrical stun gun.
Jurors noticed a surveillance video of the Nov. 13, 2018, brawl with Broward County sheriff’s Sgt. Raymond Beltran, who was supervising Cruz’s recreation interval within the remoted space the place he’s stored.
The guard testified that after he instructed Cruz to stroll correctly on his slippers, Cruz flashed each center fingers after which charged him, flipping the guard onto the bottom. Beltran was capable of flip Cruz over they usually wrestled over Beltran’s Taser, which Cruz was capable of pull from its holster.
He stated he feared Cruz would use it towards him after which “he might do no matter he needs to me.”
The Taser discharged, however the probes missed each of them. Beltran regained management of the Taser and used it to punch Cruz, staggering him. Cruz then received on the bottom, was handcuffed, and put again into his cell. Beltran suffered no severe accidents.
With the trial now in its second week, the jury has seen terrifying video of the assault, and heard from traumatized survivors and law enforcement officials who rushed into the nightmarish scene inside a three-story classroom constructing. They’ve examined grotesque post-mortem and crime scene images.
Additionally they noticed video depicting Cruz’s nonchalance as he walked to a sandwich store to purchase a drink after which visited a McDonald’s simply minutes after he fled the varsity. On Monday, they noticed the AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle Cruz fired greater than 150 occasions.
That is the deadliest mass taking pictures in U.S. historical past to succeed in trial. 9 U.S. gunmen apart from Cruz who killed no less than 17 folks died throughout or instantly after their shootings, both by suicide or police gunfire. The suspect in a tenth, the 2019 slaying of 23 folks at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, is awaiting trial.
Prosecutors stated Wednesday that they plan to finish their case subsequent week after the jury visits the constructing the place the bloodbath occurred. It has been sealed off since shortly after the taking pictures and its partitions and flooring stay blood-stained and bullet-pocked, with rotted Valentine’s Day flowers and deflated balloons strewn about.
After a one-week break, the trial will resume with a protection case that may give attention to Cruz’s life, together with his start mom’s consuming throughout being pregnant, his lengthy historical past of emotional and psychological issues, his alleged sexual abuse, and the deaths of his adopted dad and mom. The prosecution will then current a rebuttal case.
When jurors get the case, most likely in October or November, they may vote 17 occasions, as soon as for every of the victims, on whether or not to suggest capital punishment.
For every dying sentence, the jury have to be unanimous or the sentence for that sufferer is life. The jurors are instructed that to vote for dying, the prosecution’s aggravating circumstances for that sufferer should, of their judgment, “outweigh” the protection’s mitigators. A juror also can vote for all times out of mercy for Cruz. Throughout jury choice, the panelists stated beneath oath that they’re able to voting for both sentence.
By Terry Spencer