Article with video
Nikolas Cruz knew everyone would know his name after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. In three chilling cellphone video clips, two of which appear to have been recorded on the day of the Feb. 14 shooting, Cruz, 19, calmly outlines his plans.
“When you see me on the news you’ll know who I am,” he says, chuckling. “You’re all going to die. Pew pew pew. I can’t wait.”
Prosecutors released the videos on Wednesday.
Not everything went according to Cruz’s plan — he discussed taking an Uber to the campus, getting to the third floor and shooting students in the courtyard outside the school. He did arrive at the school by Uber, but never set up like a sniper shooting down into the escaping crowd.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was one of the victims, said he read a transcript of the videos but chose not to look at them.
Parkland victims go after gun maker immunity law. “I already know what he did,” said Guttenberg. “He’s evil. Repulsive. He deserves to be dead. ... He talked about how he was going to be someone now. It’s a level of thought that I can’t comprehend. It looks, from the words, like the kid had joy. I don’t want to see the delight he took in planning the murders of our children.”
Chief Assistant Public Defender Gordon Weekes declined to comment on the videos’ contents, “out of respect for the families of the victims.”
Defense lawyers have offered to have Cruz plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of life in prison, arguing it would spare the victims’ families from having to relive the tragedy through what is certain to be a lengthy trial and appellate process. The released videos are not long, but they offer a disturbing look at Cruz’s determination to gain public notoriety.
“My name is Nik, and I’m going to be the next school shooter of 2018,” he said. “My goal is at least 20 people.”
Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz made cellphone video of himself
Cruz killed 17 and wounded 17. He faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder, which requires prosecutors to prove the crime was premeditated.
That job, according to the father of one victim, was made simple by the statements made in the videos.
“Today is the day. The day that it all begins. The day of my massacre shall begin,” Cruz says. “All the kids in school will run in fear and hide. From the wrath of my power they will know who I am.”
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was among the dead, said Cruz can now rule out an insanity plea. “It just shows this kid was competent. This whole thing was premeditated murder,” he said. “This kid knew exactly what he was doing.”
Cruz offered only vague hints about his motive. “I’ve had enough being told what to do and when to do. ... Telling me I’m an idiot and a dumbass,” he says. “In real life, you’re all the dumbass. You’re all stupid and brainwashed.” He also singled out a girl or woman named “Angie,” vowing to always love her. Angie’s identity was not immediately clear — the name did not belong to any of the murdered or wounded victims.
“I hope to see you in the afterlife,” he says.