Aug. 4 (UPI) — The Florida jury debating whether Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz should be put to death for the mass shooting attack more than four years ago was set to physically walk through the crime scene at the school on Thursday.
The jurors will tour Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which was the site of the Feb. 14, 2018, attack.
The site of the attack is the freshman building of the high school, which has not been used since and has remained preserved until the legal cases in the assault have been resolved.
During the visit on Thursday, jurors will not be allowed to touch anything while walking through the building or talk with one another about their observations.
Nikolas Jacob Cruz killed 17 people at the South Florida high school on February 14, 2018. Jurors could sentence him to die by lethal injection. File Photo via Broward County Sheriff/UPI
Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer told the jurors that the trip is intended to “assist you [in] analyzing evidence.”
Cruz, 23, has already entered guilty pleas to 17 counts of first-degree murder, but his attorneys are seeking a life sentence for the former MSD student instead of the death penalty.
Cruz has confessed to assembling an AR-15 style rifle and opening fire on his former classmates after planning the crime for seven months.
Later Thursday, jurors were scheduled to return to the Broward County court in Fort Lauderdale and hear victim impact statements from three people — Peter Wang, 15; Helena Ramsey, 17; and Christopher Hixon, 49.
Prosecutors have so far called more than 80 witnesses in the sentencing phase of Cruz’s trial. Cruz was 19 at the time of the shooting, which also injured 17 others. It was one of the deadliest mass school shootings in U.S. history.