Prosecutors launched video of Nikolas Cruz‘s confession on Wednesday afternoon. The defendant admitted to opening fireplace with a semiautomatic rifle on February 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty, says the State Legal professional’s Workplace on the 17th Judicial Circuit of Florida.
Police launched a transcript of the interview on Monday which added as much as greater than 200 pages. The doc confirmed that Cruz claimed a voice in his head instructed him to do violent issues. He deliberate to shoot up a park every week earlier than the college capturing, and he mentioned (when alone within the interview room) that he needed to die.
The confession video clocks in a simply over 10 hours, 22 minutes, however a lot of it depicts Cruz sitting alone within the interview room. The majority of the particular speaking happens within the first two hours. Listed here are some key moments.
1. Background Questions.
Broward County Sheriff’s Detective John Curcio enters the room at 10:10 and takes down fundamental info from Cruz. At 16:30, the detective returns to the room with some water.
At 18:05, Curcio says, “Come on, man, you gotta chill out, man, as a result of the questions I’m asking you proper now are simply your background questions.”
2. The ‘Demon.’
At 51:00, Cruz claims to have a voice in his head. It instructed him to do violent issues, like construct fireplace pits, kill birds, and (at 1:26:00) purchase weapons, he mentioned. At about 55:30, he claimed it ordered him to take an Uber the day of the capturing. He described the voice in his head as male and being his age. At 1:34:55, Cruz mentioned the voice was telling him to chop himself. Cruz additionally mentioned the voice distrusted Curcio for being “too good.”
Curcio says a number of occasions that he doubts that there’s a voice within the first place. If there was one, he says, there have been methods to cease it.
“Personally, I believe you’re utilizing the demon as an excuse,” Curcio says at 1:55:30.
“I’m not,” insists Cruz.
four. Plan to Shoot Up a Park.
At 1:01:00, Cruz begins to debate a plot to shoot up a park the week earlier than. He claimed to not know why didn’t undergo with the plan.
5. The Demon Desires a Lawyer.
Cruz turns into visibly distraught at 1:56:00 after Curcio confronted him about “the demon.”
“Can I get an lawyer or one thing,” Cruz says at 1:56:52.
“You need, what? An lawyer?” asks Curcio. “Did the voice simply inform you to get an lawyer? Okay. Nicely, you inform the voice that–”
Cruz started to hit himself on the pinnacle. The detective tells him to cease.
6. Erratic Conduct.
Cruz appears visibly distraught at a number of factors within the video. For instance, scratching himself whereas alone within the room at 1:58:25. Crucio places a cease to this by returning to the room and handcuffing him behind his again. The defendant finally calms down.
7. Speaking with His Brother.
At 5:47:17, the defendant’s brother, Zachary Cruz, is introduced in so he might discuss.
“Individuals suppose you’re a monster now,” Zachary Cruz mentioned.
“A monster?” mentioned the defendant.
“You’re not performing like your self,” mentioned the brother. “Why? This isn’t who you’re. Come on. Why would you do that? — Don’t even chortle.”
The brother mentioned that he liked Cruz, and he apologized for being laborious on him rising up.
You possibly can learn the interview transcript right here.
Not every part was included within the launched video. As with the transcript, prosecutors needed to omit the “substance” of the confession. Meaning Cruz gained’t be seen discussing particulars of the capturing itself.
Cruz is charged with 17 counts of first-degree homicide and 17 counts of tried first-degree homicide. His protection legal professionals voiced a willingness to plead responsible, however the protection is making an attempt to persuade prosecutors to take the loss of life penalty off the desk.
Jurors would determine between loss of life or life sentence, assuming Cruz is discovered responsible throughout a trial of first-degree homicide. Beneath Florida regulation, it’s a mitigating circumstance if the defendant is discovered to have dedicated a capital crime whereas “underneath the affect of maximum psychological or emotional disturbance,” nevertheless it’s an aggravating issue if he’s decided to have knowingly risked the lives of many others.
17 folks died on the capturing: 14-year-old pupil Alyssa Alhadeff, 35-year-old instructor Scott Beigel, 14-year-old pupil Martin Duque Anguiano, 17-year-old pupil Nicholas Dworet, 37-year-old assistant soccer coach Aaron Feis, 14-year-old pupil Jaime Guttenberg, 49-year-old athletic director Christopher Hixon, 15-year-old pupil Luke Hoyer, 14-year-old pupil Cara Loughran, 14-year-old pupil Gina Montalto, 17-year-old pupil Joaquin Oliver, 14-year-old pupil Alaina Petty, 18-year-old pupil Meadow Pollack, 17-year-old pupil Helena Ramsay, 14-year-old pupil Alexander Schachter, 16-year-old pupil Carmen Schentrup, and 15-year-old pupil Peter Wang.
[Screen grab via the Broward County, Florida Sheriff’s Office.]