Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, 24, was on Wednesday sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Cruz was responsible for the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 that left 17 people dead.
Judge Elizabeth Scherer gave Cruz 17 life sentences along with an additional 17 for those he attempted to kill but ended up wounding, reports The Associated Press. Last month, a jury recommended a life sentence and not the death penalty for Cruz, angering many of the victims' families, CNN reports. "It is heartbreaking how any person who heard and saw all this did not give this killer the worst punishment possible," said Annika Dworet, mother of 17-year-old victim Nicholas Dworet.
The sentencing followed two days of victim testimonies, where many addressed Cruz directly. Linda Beigel Schulman, mother of victim Scott Beigel, a 35-year-old geography teacher, brutally denounced the gunman, saying, "Real justice would be done if every family here were given a bullet and your AR-15 ... and each one of us got to shoot one at a time at you." Cruz reportedly showed little emotion throughout the testimonies.
The gunman also heard from students, including survivor Samantha Fuentes, who said, "I'll never take my anger, pain, and suffering out on others because I am stronger than you. This entire community that stands behind me is stronger than you."
Judge Scherer also addressed those who gave testimonies, saying, "I know you are going to be OK, because you have each other."