WATCH LIVE: Witness identifies Parkland school shooter’s rifle, bulletproof vest
Dr. Wendolyn Sneed, a medical examiner, was on the stand Monday afternoon to testify during the second week of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz’s death penalty trial in Fort Lauderdale.
Before her testimony, Assistant State Attorney Mike Katz held up a Smith & Wesson M&P15. Broward Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Gloria Crespo identified it as the AR-15 rifle Cruz used on Feb. 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Crespo, who collected evidence on the third floor and the stairwells, also identified the Armor Empire bulletproof vest and a Nassau County Police identification that belonged to Roger P. Cruz, Cruz’s late adoptive father. Cruz abandoned it on the 1200 building’s west stairwell.
WATCH the 12 p.m. report from the courthouse
Broward Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Gloria Crespo was on the stand Monday to testify during the second week of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz’s death penalty trial.
The other penalty phase witnesses on Monday were Dr. Stephen L. Robinson, a pathologist who was the Broward deputy chief medical examiner; BSO Detective Miguel Suarez, who responded to the school; and Laura Zecchini, the Uber driver who gave Cruz a ride to MSD on the day of the massacre.
Justin Colton, who was among the 17 wounded, testified he was a student in classroom 1216.
“I have a couple of fragments still in my lower back and I have a scar on my arm as well … I can’t do some motions,” Colton said adding he was shot in the right arm and his lower right back.
In the audience, the parents of some of the 17 killed listened to Crespo’s testimony about the evidence collected, which includes a granular inventory of the dozens of bullet casings that Cruz left behind in the 1200 building.
Luke “Lukey” Hoyer’s parents Gena and Tom Hoyer, and his sister Abby Hoyer were in the second row. Luke was 14 years old when Cruz shot and killed him in the first floor’s hallway.
Joaquin Oliver’s mother Patricia Padauy and his sister Andrea Ghersi were to the right of the Hoyers. Cruz killed Joaquin in front of the third floor’s locked restroom. He was 17.
Jaime Guttenberg’s parents Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg were behind the Hoyers in the third row. Cruz killed Jaime in the third-floor hallway. She was 14.
Nicholas Dworet’s parents Mitch and Annika Dworet were seated behind Joaquin Oliver’s mother and sister. Nicholas was in classroom 1214. He was 17.
Alex Schachter’s father Max Schachter was behind the Dworets. Cruz killed Alex while he was at his desk in classroom 1216. He was 14.
Helena Ramsey’s father Vincent “Vinnie” Ramsey and her older brother Ellis Ramsey were in the last row of the section. Cruz killed Helena in classroom 1214. She was 17.
Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in October.
The 12 jurors, who are seated among the 10 alternate jurors, will have to consider each victim and vote on whether or not Cruz deserves to die for his crimes. Without the unanimous votes, Broward County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer will have to sentence Cruz to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Here is a summary of the first week:
State presented its opening statement and the defense decided to hold on presenting its opening until after the state finishes its case in chief.Jurors last week heard from all but one of the 17 who were wounded. They also heard from students and staff who were not physically hurt but shared gut-wrenching accounts, — one shared a cellphone video she shot.One of the 17 gravely injured in the shooting also showed scars from the gunshot wounds and related surgeries during his recovery to the jurors. Video evidence was released showing what the Parkland shooter did after the shooting. It included watching the gunman casually walk up to a Subway counter in a nearby Walmart to buy an Icee. You also see him walking into a McDonald’s where he asked the brother of one of the wounded, someone he just shot, for a ride home. That young man declined. Police did locate the student walking through a nearby neighborhood – jurors also saw the video of his arrest. Physical evidence was introduced to include ammunition.They also heard from some of the first officers to respond who shared there they found the murdered and hurt when they first made entry in the building. Physical evidence was introduced to include ammunition. There was also graphic testimony from a forensic pathologist who went into detail about the findings of several autopsy reports.