Parkland siblings testify during Nikolas Cruz’s death penalty trial
David Wilford and his kids were back in Broward County court on Thursday in Fort Lauderdale. He sat in the front row right across from the witness stand with a direct view of Nikolas Cruz.
Siblings John and Madeleine “Maddy” Wilford, both former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students, testified during Cruz’s death penalty trial.
Assistant State Attorney Mike Satz asked Maddy on Wednesday to focus on her injuries. A day later, Satz asked John to describe his run-in with Cruz after the Feb. 14, 2018 massacre.
“I just was telling him, You know like, ‘This is so chaotic! You know, ‘This is crazy! All of these helicopters and squad cars coming. What do you think this could be?’ And I don’t remember him saying much,” John said.
John Wilford points to Nikolas Cruz in Broward County court on Thursday in Fort Lauderdale.
Surveillance video showed John sitting down in a booth when Cruz, who was drinking a cherry and blue raspberry Icee he had bought at Subway in the neighboring Walmart, joined him in the booth.
“I didn’t think much of it. I figured he was from school because of what he was wearing,” John said adding he had never met Cruz before.
Cruz was wearing a burgundy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps polo shirt, black denim cargo pants, and a baseball cap with a New York City Police Department logo.
When his mother told him to walk out to the parking lot, Cruz followed. John said that was when Cruz became “pretty insistent” on getting a ride, and he said no.
“I was nervous. I was panicked. I also had a bad gut feeling about it,” John said.
Cruz decided to walk. John said he and his mother drove by him. Shortly after, Officer Michael Leonard, with the Coconut Creek Police Department, also saw Cruz and arrested him.
Video of John Wilford’s testimony
Video of Madeleine “Maddy” Wilford’s testimony