Grieving father erupts at Parkland school shooter's trial: 'Daddy's girl was taken from me!'

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By Asiya Ali

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A grieving father erupted in anger as he took the stand during the Parkland school shooter's trial.

Families of the 17 people killed in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting shared victim impact statements on Tuesday (August 2) to explain the toll the murders have taken as a jury decides whether to sentence the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, to death.

Dr. Ilan Alhadeff, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Alyssa to the tragedy, emotionally spoke on his family's loss and how he would've been looking forward to watching her achieve her dreams.

The father described Alyssa's role as captain of her soccer team and her plans to become a business lawyer. He then shed tears as he said the opportunity to dance with her at her wedding or see the children she would have had was stripped away from him.

"My first-born daughter, daddy's girl was taken from me!" the father yelled. "I get to watch my friends, my neighbors, colleagues spend time enjoying their daughters, enjoying all the normal milestones, taking in the normal joys and I only get to watch videos or go to the cemetery to see my daughter."

Watch the father's victim impact statement below:

Alhadeff said one of Alyssa's two younger brothers was too young to understand her death when it happened, but now he "asks to go see his sister at the cemetery from time to time." He angrily said: "This is not normal!"

The 23-year-old shooter pleaded guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder in October - the trial is only to decide whether he will be sentenced to death or life without parole.

Witnesses in the court said during the family statement, Cruz showed little emotion, mostly staring straight ahead and looking down at the table where he sits. Even several of his attorneys wiped away their tears as they listened.

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Nikolas Cruz was in court during his death penalty trial in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on July 21, 2022. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

Another parent, Annika Dworet, and her husband Mitch told the jurors about their son, Nick, who was 17 when he died, and his aspirations before his death.

The mother said Nick was a star swimmer and had accepted a scholarship to the University of Indianapolis and had dreams of competing in her native country Sweden for the 2020 Olympics. His younger brother, Alex, was wounded in the shooting.

"He was always inclusive of everyone. On his last evening with us, he spent time speaking to the younger kids on the swim team, giving them some pointers," she said, adding, "our hearts will forever be broken."

The jury's decision must be unanimous for the death penalty to go ahead.

Featured image credit: REUTERS / Alamy

Grieving father erupts at Parkland school shooter's trial: 'Daddy's girl was taken from me!'

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

A grieving father erupted in anger as he took the stand during the Parkland school shooter's trial.

Families of the 17 people killed in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting shared victim impact statements on Tuesday (August 2) to explain the toll the murders have taken as a jury decides whether to sentence the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, to death.

Dr. Ilan Alhadeff, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Alyssa to the tragedy, emotionally spoke on his family's loss and how he would've been looking forward to watching her achieve her dreams.

The father described Alyssa's role as captain of her soccer team and her plans to become a business lawyer. He then shed tears as he said the opportunity to dance with her at her wedding or see the children she would have had was stripped away from him.

"My first-born daughter, daddy's girl was taken from me!" the father yelled. "I get to watch my friends, my neighbors, colleagues spend time enjoying their daughters, enjoying all the normal milestones, taking in the normal joys and I only get to watch videos or go to the cemetery to see my daughter."

Watch the father's victim impact statement below:

Alhadeff said one of Alyssa's two younger brothers was too young to understand her death when it happened, but now he "asks to go see his sister at the cemetery from time to time." He angrily said: "This is not normal!"

The 23-year-old shooter pleaded guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder in October - the trial is only to decide whether he will be sentenced to death or life without parole.

Witnesses in the court said during the family statement, Cruz showed little emotion, mostly staring straight ahead and looking down at the table where he sits. Even several of his attorneys wiped away their tears as they listened.

wp-image-1263163775 size-full
Nikolas Cruz was in court during his death penalty trial in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on July 21, 2022. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

Another parent, Annika Dworet, and her husband Mitch told the jurors about their son, Nick, who was 17 when he died, and his aspirations before his death.

The mother said Nick was a star swimmer and had accepted a scholarship to the University of Indianapolis and had dreams of competing in her native country Sweden for the 2020 Olympics. His younger brother, Alex, was wounded in the shooting.

"He was always inclusive of everyone. On his last evening with us, he spent time speaking to the younger kids on the swim team, giving them some pointers," she said, adding, "our hearts will forever be broken."

The jury's decision must be unanimous for the death penalty to go ahead.

Featured image credit: REUTERS / Alamy