Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz queued up the music video for ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ – a song about a school shooting – on his way to Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School where he killed 17 people, according to testimony at his Florida trial .
On Monday, family members of students and staff brutally slaughtered on Valentine’s Day 2018 provided chilling accounts of the lives of 23-year-old Cruz as the self-confessed killer’s trial entered its second month of proceedings.
A Broward sheriff’s detective also testified that Cruz, who pleaded guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder in October, prepared for his slaying by listening to the Foster the People song “Pumped Up Kicks,” which was written by perspective of a violent student and includes hints of targeting unarmed victims as he drove an Uber to the school before the attack.
Disclosure was included in documents released from the sheriff’s office recording Cruz’s internet search history and cell phone activity in the days leading up to the shooting.
The documents showed the then-19-year-old had also searched for the 2010 song on February 1, followed by “Video Game Shooting Scenes with ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ Playing” on February 12. He then heard the song the night before and while at home on the day of the February 14 mass attack.
In 2019, the Foster the People singer said Advertising sign that he had plans to retire the controversial song, which topped the music and entertainment magazine’s charts at number three on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2011 and was considered the band’s most popular hit.
“I was thinking about retiring the song and just not playing it live anymore. I can’t ask other people not to play it live, but the audience made the song what it is — and if the song has become another symbol of something, I can’t control that. But I can control my involvement in it,” she told the magazine, noting how she felt uncomfortable with how the song had been linked to school shootings like the Parkland massacre.
“I’m in control of whether I’m going to play it over and over again. It’s like shoving your song into someone’s wound — I don’t really want to do that,” he added.
Jurors on the seven-man, five-woman panel also saw on Monday the three cellphone videos Cruz made six days before his attack.
The former Parkland High School student is not seen in two of the earlier videos, but can be heard saying in the first, “Today is the day. Today it all starts. The day of my slaughter will begin.”
In the second, he is heard saying off-screen: “When you see me on the news, you’ll all know who I am. You will all die. … I look forward.”
The latest video, which was shot three days before the deadly attack, shows Cruz wearing a baseball cap and speaking directly to the camera, saying how he’s “going to be the next school shooter of 2018,” before closing the video. making gunshot sounds.
Text messages between the gunman and a friend of his and his ex-girlfriend were also submitted as evidence during Monday’s death penalty trial, with some of the messages sent minutes before the attack began.
Ninety minutes before the shooting began, a text message Cruz sent to his ex described his unrequited love for the teenager, asking her, “Do you want me to leave?” after he told the girl he loved her.
In response, she tells Cruz, “You scare me and I want you to leave me alone,” before noting that she had a boyfriend.
Before entering the school, he sent the girl who rejected his advances one last note that he loved her.
Meanwhile, the confessed assailant had also been texting a friend for several hours before the massacre, trying in the exchange to arrange a date with another girl on the same night of the attack.
His friend, who confirmed he had found someone for Cruz to hang out with that night, sent a text just as his Uber ride was arriving at the high school, prompting Cruz to respond by saying, “Too late dude.” Three minutes later the attack began.
The 23-year-old man’s death penalty trial was expected to stretch through at least October and possibly into November, with some breaks scheduled in that process. One of the first of these breaks occurred last week, with the next halt in proceedings occurring during the course of next week.
Jurors will have to decide unanimously on each of the 17 counts brought against Cruz if they believe he should be sentenced to death, otherwise the sentence for this victim is life.
Jurors are told that in order to vote for death, the prosecution’s aggravating circumstances for that victim must, in their judgment, “weigh” the defense’s mitigating circumstances. A jury may also vote for life on parole for Cruz.
During the selection of the jury, the participants were told under oath that they could vote for any proposal. meaning the jury will only decide whether he is sentenced to death or life without parole.
Victim impact statements are scheduled to continue Tuesday.