Months after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead and injured many more, disturbing footage of the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, have been released by the Broward State Attorney’s Office and obtained by TMZ. The videos show Cruz plotting his attack on the school.
In one video, recorded with the 19-year-old’s cell phone, Cruz says: "With the power of my AR, you will all know who I am." Cruz used an AR-15 during the shooting. In another video, he reveals his goal was to kill at least 20 people and adds: “You're all going to die. Can't wait." Prosecutors did not pinpoint exactly when the videos were made, but it is suggested in at least one video that it was recorded on the day of the attack.
TMZ reports that the state attorney’s office decided to release the videos as it begins to mount a case for asking for the death penalty against Cruz. The shooter currently faces 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder.
The Parkland shooting sparked nationwide protests and an ongoing movement for better gun control laws, spearheaded by a vocal group of survivors. One of the group’s most recent moves was to launch a Political Action Committee (PAC) with the aim of defeating NRA-funded politicians in upcoming elections and amending laws that limit semi-automatic rifles like the one used in the Parkland shooting.
One of these survivors, Emma González, took to her Twitter last night to decry the release of the videos as traumatizing for her and her classmates who survived the shooting. Others also shared similar views.
I’ve been off twitter for a couple days. First thing I see when I log back in is the person who killed my friends. Please do us a favor and Listen to us when we say we don’t want his Fucking Face plastered everywhere we look, thank you have a good night because none of us will be— Emma González (@Emma4Change) May 31, 2018
Whoever thought releasing the video was a good idea, and I know it was just for views and money, I hope you’re happy. You gave him exactly what he wanted and you triggered the fuck out of me. I’m doing worse than I was before and I’m so upset at the level of disrespect.— Lex Michael (@lexforchange) May 31, 2018
STOP SHOWING HIS FUCKING FACE.— Vincent Frettoloso (@vfretty) May 30, 2018
I’m not going to watch that video. Please stop sharing that video. If you see someone post something about that video, report it. Thank you.— Sofie Whitney (@sofiewhitney) May 30, 2018