Discarded Valentine’s Day gifts, bullet holes and blood — that was the wrenching aftermath of Parkland killer Nikolas Cruz’s shooting rampage through Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018.
Jurors, and then reporters, toured the fenced-off school building as part of Cruz’s sentencing trial Thursday, with every few paces revealing a new horror.
Preserved as a crime scene for more than four years, the blood-spattered structure still looms hauntingly over the operational part of the Florida school.
Pool reporters said the building was littered with teddy bears and candies and cards that students had exchanged with each other on that Valentine’s Day.
In room 1216, where three students were killed, essay books remained open on dust-covered desks.
“We go to school every day of the week and we take it all for granted,” one student wrote. “We cry and complain without knowing how lucky we are to be able to learn.”
Jurors arrive in vans at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.Frank Guzman/WSVN
Nearby, browned bloodstains marked where students Alyssa Alhadeff and Alaina Petty died.
More blood was visible on the desk where Alex Schachter was found slumped over after Cruz struck him while firing into the room.
In room 1255, desks were scattered and overturned, indicating the chaos Cruz unleashed as gunshots exploded in the school’s hallways.
Vans transporting jurors arrive at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s 1200 building on Aug. 4. Getty Images
Several bullet holes were seen in a classroom window.Getty Images
Large pools of blood had dried near a water fountain where three dead students, Cara Loughran, Meadow Pollack and Joaquin Oliver had been dragged.
The teacher’s desk, where kids huddled in fear during rampage, remained unmoved. The day’s writing assignment was still on the chalkboard: “How to write the perfect love letter.”
Outside a bathroom, a trail of blood told the story of Oliver’s final moments. Cruz initially wounded him in an alcove area, leaving blood droplets. While he was still conscious, Oliver was unable to move as Cruz circled back to him and fired at close range, resulting in a much larger pool.
Six bullet holes can be seen in a third-floor window of the 1200 building where the 2018 shootings took place. Getty Images
Witnesses testified that Oliver had put up his hands to shield himself, with several bullet holes in a wall near his body attesting to the ballistic onslaught.
Next to a window in a teacher’s lounge with six bullet holes, a school poster warned students to take action if they sensed that a classmate was troubled.
“Typical or Troubled? Notice: Notice if you are seeing troubling signs in a student. Talk: Talk with the student. Act: Share observations with school mental health staff. Changing a life’s course,” the poster read.
Prosecution team members walk toward the entrance of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Aug. 4, 2022.Getty Images
Cruz waived his right to tour the site of his slaughter Thursday.
Now 23, he has already pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. Jurors will decide if he is sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.
The panel of seven men and five women were bused to the scene — roughly 30 miles from the Fort Lauderdale courthouse — under tight security.
Nikolas Cruz has already pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.AP
They have already been shown videos of Cruz’s rampage, in which he methodically murdered his targets on three separate floors.
Press footage of the tour taken from the outside of the building shows Judge Elizabeth Scherer and prosecutor Michael Satz stepping into the building at one point.
Officials plan to demolish it after receiving approval.
Jurors listened to wrenching testimony this week from the families of Cruz’s victims.
The tearful displays even brought defense attorneys Tamara Curtis and Nawal Najet Bashiman to tears at one point.