‘Burn in hell’: Family members of victims of Parkland shooting confront Nikolas Cruz at sentencing

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On the first day of Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz’s sentencing hearing, family members of the 14 students and three staff members told the 24-year-old that he will “burn in hell” and “die as nothing.” 

In October, a US jury gave life imprisonment for Cruz, who shot and killed 17 people at a Florida high school. The sentencing shocked some relatives of the victims. 

Now those who are most directly affected by the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas elevated School attack made angry and emotional comments after the jury in Broward County recommended life in prison for Cruz, not the death penalty. 

Theresa Robinovitz, the grandmother of victim Alyssa Alhadeff, said: “I’m too old to see you live out your life sentence, but I hope your ever-breathing moment here on earth is miserable and you repent for your sins Nikolas and burn in hell.” 

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unkindwhile, David Robinovitz, who is the grandfather of a 14-year-old victim, called Cruz the “Parkland murderer,” refusing to address him by his name. 

During the hearing, Robinovitz told Cruz: “Parkland murderer, there’s going to come a day – it could be a week from now, it could be a month from now, it could be 40 years from now – you are going to die. When you die, it is my fondest hope that they take you and burn you and take your ashes and throw them in the garbage dump.” 

He further said: “You know why? Because garbage to garbage. And at that time Parkland murderer, it is my hope that you go somewhere to meet your maker of whatever it is and Parkland murderer I hope your maker sends you directly to hell to burn for the rest of your eternity.” 

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Deborah Hixon, who is the widow of athletic director Chris Hixon, told Cruz: “He was stolen from us by an unimaginable act that you planned and executed. After today, I don’t care what happens to you. You’ll be sent to jail, you will be getting your punishment. You’ll be a number and for me, you will cease to exist.” 

She said, “You wanted to see the families suffer – well, no more. We will not just survive, we will thrive and we will honour Chris and the other 16 beautiful people that you took from us with positive action and wonderful memories.” 

What happened on February 14, 2018? 

On February 14, 2018, then-19-year-old Cruz walked into the school carrying a semiautomatic rifle.

Reports said that in nine minutes, he killed 17 people and wounded another 17. 

He had been expelled a year earlier for disciplinary reasons. 

After the shooting, Cruz fled by mixing in with people. He was later arrested by police shortly as he walked along the street. 

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