Parkland college taking pictures jury visits untouched, bloodstained lecture rooms | gun crime

Roses delivered to honor love on that Valentine’s Day in 2018 lay withered, their dried and cracked petals scattered throughout classroom flooring nonetheless smeared with the blood of victims gunned down by a former pupil greater than 4 years in the past.

Bullet holes pocked partitions, and shards of glass from home windows shattered by gunfire crunched underfoot at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas highschool, the place shooter Nikolas Cruz killed 14 college students and three workers members.

Nothing had been modified, apart from the removing of the victims’ our bodies and a few private gadgets.

Twelve jurars and 10 alternates who will determine Whether or not Cruz will get the demise penalty or life in jail made a uncommon go to to the bloodbath scene on Thursday, retracing Cruz’s steps by way of the three-story freshman constructing, often called Constructing 12.

After they left, a gaggle of journalists was allowed in for a a lot faster first public view. The sight was deeply unsettling.

Massive swimming pools of dried blood nonetheless stained classroom flooring. A lock of darkish hair rested on the ground the place one of many victims’ our bodies as soon as lay. A single black rubber shoe was within the hallway. Browned rose petals have been strewn throughout a hallway the place six folks died, and Valentines Day presents, reminiscent of toy bears, and playing cards lay the place that they had tumbled within the havoc.

In classroom after classroom, open notebooks displayed uncompleted classes. A blood-coated e book referred to as Inform Them We Bear in mind sat atop a bullet-riddled desk within the classroom the place a trainer, Ivy Schamis, taught college students concerning the Holocaust.

An indication hooked up to a bulletin board learn: “We are going to always remember.” Two college students died there.

Within the classroom of the English trainer Dara Hass, the place essentially the most college students have been gunned down, there have been essays about Malala Yousafzaithe Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for going to highschool, and who has since turn into a worldwide advocate for training entry for ladies and women.

The door of Room 1255, trainer Stacey Lippel’s classroom, was pushed open – like others to indicate that Cruz shot into it. Hanging on a wall inside was an indication studying: “No Bully Zone”. The artistic writing project for the day was on the whiteboard: “Find out how to write the proper love letter.”

And nonetheless hanging on the wall of a second-floor hallway was a quote from James Dean: “Dream as if you happen to’ll dwell eternally, dwell as if you happen to’ll die immediately.”

In slain trainer Scott Beigel’s classroom, a laptop computer was nonetheless open geography on his desk. Scholar assignments evaluating the tenets of Christianity and Islam remained, some graded, some not.

Prosecutors, who rested their case after the jury’s tour, hope the go to will assist show that Cruz’s actions have been chilly, calculated, heinous and merciless; created an incredible danger of demise to many individuals and “interfered with a authorities operate” – all aggravating elements beneath Florida’s capital punishment regulation.

Beneath Florida court docket guidelines, neither the choose nor the attorneys have been allowed to talk to the jurors – and the jurors weren’t allowed to converse with one another – after they retraced the trail Cruz took on 14 February 2018, as he moved from ground to ground, firing down hallways and into lecture rooms.

Earlier than the tour, the jurors had already seen surveillance video of the taking pictures and images of its aftermath.

The constructing has been sealed and the Broward county college district plans to demolish it each time prosecutors approve. For now, it’s a court docket exhibit.

Cruz, now 23, pleaded responsible in October to 17 counts of first-degree homicide.

After jurors returned to the courtroom on Thursday from the uncommon crime scene go to, the moms of two victims testified that the bloodbath completely solid a pall over not solely each Valentine’s Day however different necessary household celebrations.

Helena Ramsay, 17, died on her father’s birthday. “That day won’t ever be a celebration and might by no means be the identical for him,” her mom Anne Ramsay mentioned.

Hui Wang, whose 15-year-old son Peter was killed, mentioned the taking pictures occurred the day earlier than lunar new 12 months. A deliberate celebration was canceled that 12 months and yearly since then. “Today of unity turned a day that hurts essentially the most,” she mentioned.

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