FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The father of one of the victims killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, wiped tears from his eyes on Friday while in a Broward County Courtroom. It was Day 5 in the penalty phase trial of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz.
Fred Guttenberg listened while a Coral Springs police officer on the witness stand described checking the pulse of Guttenberg’s daughter, Jaime, 14, who was a freshman at the school when she was shot and killed in the hallway trying to flee the gunman.
Detective David Alfin of Coral Springs Police recounted what was happening in the still image from body cam video that the prosecution showed the jury.
VIDEO: Day 5: Report from the courtroom
“It shows me checking for vital signs on Jaime Guttenberg and the other officers covering the doors.”
Lead Prosecutor Michael Satz asked Alfin, “Where are you?”
“I am over Jaime Guttenberg,” Alfin said.
“What happened when you checked her vital signs,” Satz asked.
“I checked the vital signs for breath and pulse and I found none. I checked several times.”
On Friday, the jury saw images of students and staff from body cam video of how the responding officers found the victims.
The graphic images are what make up over 100 pieces of evidence and close to 50 witnesses that have been seen and heard from so far in the trial that is expected to last four months.
Other law enforcement described the difficult details of checking the vital signs of Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach, who used himself as a shield to protect students, and Christopher Hixon, the athletic director, who tried to disarm the gunman.
Officers described their interactions with two other victims, students Joaquin Oliver and Meadow Pollack.
One of the crime scene shots of Classroom 1214 showed a scene “frozen in time,” according to notes from the media committee sent to the press recounting Friday’s day in court. “The window panel on the maroon-colored door is almost completely shattered. There (are) half empty water bottles on the desks, abandoned headphones and laptops, and pink Valentine’s Day gift bags.”
At times, the testimony was graphic and excruciating as Dr. Iouri Boiko, a Broward County Medical Examiner who performed autopsies on some of the victims, explained in detail their injuries.
He told the jury that one of the victims, Martin Duque Anguiano, had defensive wounds on his hands and arms.
“It looks like he tried to protect himself,” Boiko said.
Jurors also started to see the physical evidence in the case including a laptop shot through from the AK-47 used by Cruz and numerous rifle magazines.
Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in October.
Jurors must decide if he should be executed for his crimes. Without a unanimous agreement, Cruz will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.