A Florida man faces trial for a catastrophic school shooting, but before he does, he must face jurors for a battery case. Prosecutors say that’s Nikolas Cruz, 23, on footage rushing a Broward County jail guard in November 2018. Jury selection is scheduled to start Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET. Opening statements are scheduled for Oct. 18. You can watch in the player above.
Cruz is the person facing 17 counts of first-degree murder, and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for opening fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida on Valentine’s Day 2018. Then 19, he was a former student there. While awaiting trial at the Broward County Jail, he attacked one of the guards, say prosecutors. In the Nov. 13, 2018 incident, the guard told him not to drag his sandals on the floor, prosecutors said. Cruz flipped him off, and, as clear from the video, rushed him and struck him. He initially had the upper hand, but the guard regained control, and Cruz eventually gave up.
17 people died in the high school shooting: 14-year-old student Alyssa Alhadeff, 35-year-old teacher Scott Beigel, 14-year-old student Martin Duque Anguiano, 17-year-old student Nicholas Dworet, 37-year-old assistant football coach Aaron Feis, 14-year-old student Jaime Guttenberg, 49-year-old athletic director Christopher Hixon, 15-year-old student Luke Hoyer, 14-year-old student Cara Loughran, 14-year-old student Gina Montalto, 17-year-old student Joaquin Oliver, 14-year-old student Alaina Petty, 18-year-old student Meadow Pollack, 17-year-old student Helena Ramsay, 14-year-old student Alexander Schachter, 16-year-old student Carmen Schentrup, and 15-year-old student Peter Wang.
Officials arrested Cruz shortly after. Interview footage showed him insisting a voice in his head told him to carry out the shooting. He called it the “Demon.”
“Personally, I think you’re using the demon as an excuse,” said Broward County Sheriff’s Detective John Curcio.
Cruz’s defense has not disputed that he is responsible. They have been trying to save him from the death penalty.
[Booking photo via Broward County Jail]
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