Nikolas Cruz update: Parkland survivor who hid in closet wants shooter to be executed & 'scratched from history'October 15, 2021
A PARKLAND survivor who hid in a closet during the terrifying gun rampage wants shooter Nikolas Cruz to get the death penalty.
Lewis Mizen, who is now 21, spoke exclusively to The Sun – four years after escaping the attack that killed 17 people by hiding with his teacher and classmates.
Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where he was a student on Valentine’s Day 2018, prosecutors say, and an apparent video confession showed him blaming a "demon."
Before Cruz's lawyers today revealed he would plead guilty over the massacre, Lewis opened up about how the bloody ordeal has impacted his life and called for Cruz to die for his crime.
His defense has not denied he is the shooter but his lawyers want to save him from the death penalty – but Lewis said he "is somebody that will never be redeemed" because he "premeditated" and "pre-planned" the shooting.
"He will never be of any value to society," the Parkland survivor told The Sun. "For its flaws, Florida has the death penalty for a reason.
"And if you aren't going to use it on someone like him, then who would you use it on?"
"I cannot name the last time I thought of him. And I think that's the best thing for him. He should be scratched from history.
"What is up for debate is what happens to him. And I do think there is a reason Florida has the death penalty.
"And the sooner the trial happens the better so we never have to think about him again."
Today, Cruz's attorneys said he would plead guilty to murdering 17 people, which would set up a penalty phase when Cruz will be fighting against the death penalty.
His lawyers told Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer today that he will plead guilty next Wednesday to 17 counts of first-degree murder.
These are pleas with no conditions and prosecutors are hoping to get the death penalty, which will be decided by a jury in a trial at a later date. He will also plead guilty to 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Lewis acknowledged that "there is obviously hate there" for Cruz and raised the issue of insanity.
"Anyone who wants to do what he did is insane," he said. "But there is a difference between someone having a breakdown on the day and planning something like he did. It was premeditated."
Cruz is somebody that will never be redeemed.
"It's also been four years now, I know there is bureaucracy but things seem to be moving at a snail's pace," Lewis continued. "It is really dragging on for the families.
"They are forced to relive it the longer this goes on and they wait for the trial."
Lewis also claimed Cruz was getting a "show trial" and said there was "no doubt he did it."
"I think my perspective on life changed after the shooting. I wanted to be involved with politics before. I think what has happened since has left me disillusioned by it.
"I want to do something I think that could actually help now. "I also recognize America is not an easy place to change.
"There is still a sense that people think there is no need to change [in relation to gun laws] and so that is really disappointing. And especially when it is something so personal to you."
"Last year there was a bomb threat in my apartment and there was that same sinking feeling, that feeling of hopelessness, that same sense of dread," Lewis revealed.
He also noted that he was felt bonded to his fellow Parkland survivors and took comfort in talking to them
"This was a case of domestic terrorism," he concluded. "And the only way they win is if you are scared to do the things you want to do."
In a last-minute court hearing for the 23-year-old on Friday, the lawyer confirmed that Cruz is set to enter a plea to both his battery assault and the horrific shooting.
Judge Scherer accepted that Cruz wants to change his plea in the case, adding that if she is also expected to accept the battery plea it will have to be done today – ahead of his court case next week.
Although he wasn't initially present, Cruz later entered the Broward County courtroom and pled guilty to attacking a jail guard nine months after the shooting.
He appeared in court wearing chinos, a blue sweater, and a white shirt before entering his plea.
Teacher Scott Beigel, 35, athletic director Christopher Hixon, 49, assistant football coach Aaron Feis, 37, and 14 students ranging in age from 14 to 18 were killed during the deadly shooting.
Students Martin Duque Anguiano, 14, 17-year-old student Nicholas Dworet, Jaime Guttenberg, 14, Luke Hoyer, 15, and 14-year-old Cara Loughran were killed in the carnage.
Gina Montalto, 14, Joaquin Oliver, 17, Alaina Petty, 14, Meadow Pollack, 18, Helena Ramsay, 17, Alexander Schachter, 14, Carmen Schentrup, 16, and 15-year-old student Peter Wang also lost their lives that day.
Seventeen others were wounded during the horror ordeal.
Lewis, originally from Coventry in England, has previously spoken out about his experience and likened it to a "sudden jolt" that his life was in danger.
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