Prosecutors will seek death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, Parkland shooting suspect

The shooter Nikolas Cruz as he as arrested

The shooter Nikolas Cruz as he as arrested

Nikolas Cruz appears in court for a status hearing before Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer on February 19, 2018 in Ft.

Rabbi Mendy Gutnik and Rabbi Shuey Biston pray with family and friends of those who were killed in a high school shooting that left 17 dead.

He confessed, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

In a notice filed Tuesday in circuit court, Michael Satz, the Broward state attorney, said the state meant to seek the death penalty for Cruz and would prove that the crime "was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel".

A grand jury indicted Cruz on 34 counts, including 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder.

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Cruz is set to be formally arraigned on Wednesday.

In its filing, the prosecution said that, among the aggravating factors spurring its decision, were that Cruz knowingly created a risk of death for many people, his crime was aimed at hindering "any government function or the enforcement of laws" and that the shooting was "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel".

Attorneys for Cruz do not contest his guilt, and they have offered to have him plead guilty if prosecutors did not seek the death penalty and instead agreed to a life sentence in prison.

"We are still ready to enter a plea of "guilty" to several consecutive life sentences, without parole, out of respect for the victims of this tragedy", Weekes said. "If we are not allowed to do so tomorrow, we will stand mute to the charges".

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