Nikolas Cruz had large bag, was nervous, Uber driver testifies at Parkland shooter’s trial


“He came into the car and said he was going to music class,” the driver, Laura Zecchini, said during Cruz’ sentencing trial Monday.

Cruz pleaded guilty last October to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. A jury in this phase of his trial will decide whether Cruz is sentenced to death or gets a life sentence.

The state also called five additional witnesses Monday: two Broward County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, two medical examiners and a student who was wounded.

Testimony from Sgt. Gloria Crespo of the Broward Sheriff’s Office centered on the rifle bag she recovered on the first floor of the building where the shooting occurred. According to Crespo, the bag contained ear muffling headphones that are normally used for range shooting.

The jury saw the AR-15 used in the shooting, several ammunition clips and a vest with magazines.

The two medical examiners testified about three of the autopsies they performed, most notably the one performed on Peter Wang, who suffered 12 gunshot wounds, including four to the head and face.

As Dr. Wendolyn Sneed described the injuries, Max Schacter — whose son was also killed — appeared visibly upset.

Court is in recess until 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Recent testimony has shed light on Cruz’ actions before and after the shooting.

Cruz was able to leave the crime scene by blending in with students fleeing campus. Immediately after, he went to a Walmart and bought a drink at a Subway there before heading to a McDonald’s.

Former student John Wilford, who was a freshman at the time, last week testified that he had walked to a nearby McDonald’s after evacuating the school to wait for his mother to pick him up. Cruz sat with him at his table and asked if he could get a ride — which Wilford declined.

“He was pretty insistent on it and I said no,” Wilford said. “I was just trying to get home, my sister wasn’t answering her phone, I was nervous, I was panicked. I also had a bad gut feeling about it.”

Wilford did not know who Cruz was, but assumed he was a fellow student because of his uniform. Wilford later discovered that Cruz had seriously wounded his sister, 15, shooting her at least three times during the massacre.

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