Parkland mass murderer Nikolas Cruz pledged online that he would become a “professional school shooter” and scoured the internet for information about some of the deadliest mass murders in the country, the judges heard Wednesday.
Cruz’s online history is a key point for prosecutors looking to prove that Cruz acted premeditated and calculated in the February 2018 storming of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, using an AR-15 rifle to kill 14 students. and fatally shooting three staff members. The alarming comments on YouTube pages promising bloodshed and the dozens of online searches came in the months leading up to the massacre.
The YouTube comments, posted in 2017 and early 2018, showed Cruz’s seething anger and self-pity, professing “my life sucks,” “I hate everyone,” and wanting to “kill a bunch of people and kill kids.”
“I’m going to be a professional school shooter,” he wrote on September 24, 2017, five months before the Parkland massacre.
Read more: How a driven prosecutor builds the case to execute the Parkland killer: ‘Brick by brick.’
Broward Sheriff’s Office detective Nicholas Masters also told jurors about Cruz’s numerous Google and YouTube searches for pages about ammunition, AR-15s, and infamous mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado, Columbine, Colorado, Las Vegas, and Virginia, among others. Tech University.
He also sought information about Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old spree killer who murdered six people in Isla Vista, California, in 2014. Rodger made a disturbing hate-filled video that was idolized among extreme misogynists shortly before he committed suicide.
On the day of the Parkland massacre, Cruz also searched for the name of his former school.
YouTube searches include “how to shoot at 500 yards”, “kill people”, “how do you become evil in society”, “top ten murders captured on tape”, “how carnage works” and “on girls shoot”.
The jurors saw the evidence on the eighth day of testimony in the sentencing trial for Cruz, 23, who has already pleaded guilty to 17 first-degree murders and 17 counts of attempted murder. The jury will ultimately decide whether Cruz is sent to Florida Death Row to be executed, or whether to serve a life sentence.
Also on Wednesday, jurors saw a video surveillance clip of Cruz’s assault on a Broward County detention officer, nine months after his arrest for the mass shooting. Cruz pleaded guilty to the battery, and that conviction could be considered an “aggravating factor” by the jury in ordering the death penalty.
Sergeant Raymond Beltran told the judges that on November 13, 2018, he oversaw Cruz’s regular practice time in a communal area outside his cell — Cruz walked in circles around a few tables. Since Cruz’s jail-release thongs were broken, Beltran ordered him to go back to his cell so he could have a new pair brought in.
“He stopped talking, dropped me twice and then he attacked me,” Beltran told the judges.
The video shows Cruz and Beltran struggling on the ground and wrestling with the deputy’s taser stun gun. “heyHe really has my taser in his hand,” Beltran told the judges.
The gun went off and hit the floor. Beltran was able to get up and Cruz lay down on the floor and was handcuffed.
Read more: What to Expect When Parkland Shooting Trial Continues: School Tour; defense pleads
Jurors also heard from former Broward Chief Medical Examiner Craig Mallak, who performed the autopsy on murdered student Cara Loughran, 14. He testified that Cara was shot three times, including one that entered the side of her chest and caused “serious damage to the heart.” caused”. .”
The trial is not in session Thursday or Friday. Assistant state attorney Mike Satz said prosecutors will conclude their case next week.
This story was originally published July 27, 2022 15:52.