Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz at his trial
Nikolas Cruz Trial: Lawyer Calls Parkland Shooting A 'Systematic Murder' Photo by Mike Stocker - Pool/Getty Images

Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz played himself well into a death sentence based on his jailhouse interviews last week. A video showing Cruz’s penalty trial was presented by prosecutors with the suspect relaying his actions in graphic detail. The gunman's defense attorney said his client answered interview questions frankly in a manner that perhaps made him one of the state's best witnesses.

AP News reported that the 24-year-old Cruz laid out his intentions, motives and planning during his video interview while recounting the massacre at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018, which left 17 people dead. With 12 jurors wavering on a choice between a death penalty and a life sentence without parole, mental health experts, including forensic psychiatrist Dr. Charles Scott and neuropsychologist Robert Denney have now deemed it nearly impossible to save Cruz from his own death sentence. Separate extensive interviews conducted by Scott and Denney saw Cruz even asking for a pen and paper to expound his statements using diagrams and drawings.

“I did my own research,” Cruz explained to Scott. “I studied mass murderers and how they did it, their plans, what they got, and what they used," the suspect added.

Experts now seem to be left with clear impressions and analyses that either make the defendant appear to be a cold-blooded killer out on a vengeful plot or a hopelessly deranged psychopath.

In Cruz’s defense, his actions were pinned on his birth mother’s heavy drinking during pregnancy which may have left him with significant brain damage. With this, prosecutors could further examine him for their rebuttal. During his final interview with Denney, Cruz revealed why he specifically chose Valentine’s Day to unleash his wrath.

“Because I thought no one would love me,” Cruz said. “I didn’t like Valentine’s Day and I wanted to ruin it for everyone.”

He continued to explain that what he did was not because he wanted to ruin Valentine’s Day for the families of his victims, but that he wanted to do it for the school. To date, the school has not celebrated Valentine’s Day and will never again do so.

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