Parkland Shooter Pleads Guilty to All Counts


Nikolas Cruz, the assailant in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018 plead guilty to all charges related to the tragedy at the school this week. He plead guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.

The assailant is facing life in prison and a jury will determine if he will face the death penalty. The selection for that jury will begin on January 4, 2022.

Numerous families were in attendance for the reading of the confessed charges where the assailant issued a public apology and asked for the opportunity to help others.

“If you wanted to do something for our families you shouldn’t have killed our loved ones,” said Tony Montalto, father of 14-year-old, Gina, who was killed in the shooting.

The family of Luke Hoyer, another one of the victims, was also in attendance.

“My son Luke Hoyer was 15 and we miss him dearly,” said Gena Hoyer. “Luke was my third child. He was my surprise baby — and I always used to say, because he was so funny and cute, we would laugh and I’d go ‘what would we ever do without him?’ He wasn’t planned. And now I have to live those words. I do have to live my life without him.”

Hoyer’s father was surprised to hear the assailant wanted to issue public comments.

“When [Cruz] said he wanted to speak that was really an ugly surprise for us,” said Tom Hoyer. “Because, there’s nothing he can say that’s going to change anything that he did. That was hard … who knows, maybe someday we can find room in our heart to forgive him but that’s not the same thing as extending mercy. And I don’t think this killer deserves any mercy. So I think whatever happens to him happens but it’s something we live with for the rest of our lives. There’s not going to be any closure.”

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips. 



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