Scott said Nikolas Cruz’s record at school, from preschool until before the crime, shows he had an “ability to control” his behavior when “he wanted to.”
“They disparage others. They have a lack of remorse about harming or hurting other people,” Scott said after mentioning Cruz’s racist, anti-Semitic, and misogynistic comments.
SESSIONS IN JAIL
Prosecutors played videos of Scott’s sessions with Cruz in March at the Broward County jail. Cruz willingly talked to Scott about the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“The evidence is extremely strong that this was planned, premeditated, thought out,” Scott said later adding Cruz chose Valentine’s Day, “because he had no one to love and no one to love him.”
Cruz was in handcuffs and sitting across from Scott when he told him during a March 2 session in jail that he first became interested in school shootings at 13 or 14 years old and thoroughly researched the subject.
“I studied mass murderers and how they did it, like their plans, what they got and what they used,” Cruz told Scott.
Cruz described his preparation ahead of the MSD shooting. He said he wore a maroon Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps shirt as a “disguise” to “blend in.”
SIGNS OF A ‘SOCIOPATH’
Without displaying any emotion, Cruz also said he shot a girl in the back twice as she attempted to flee on the stairs on Feb. 14, 2018, at MSD’s 1200 building.
“I wanted to shoot as many people as I could,” Cruz told Scott.
Cruz said some of his victims gave him “nasty” looks and in a matter-of-fact way described what happened to his last victim: “His head blew up like a water balloon.”
Cruz said he stopped shooting after he couldn’t break a window at the teacher’s lounge to shoot at the crowd during the school’s evacuation.
“I couldn’t find anyone to kill. I didn’t want to do it anymore,” Cruz told Scott.
Scott said records of Cruz’s online searches showed he had other “deviant interests” such as child porn, which he said, “can be a part” of ASPD. Scott also diagnosed Cruz with borderline personality disorder, which can result in impulsive actions, and malingering, intentionally engaging in false behavior.
The prosecution also called Kyle James Horrigan, who took a picture of Cruz’s red backpack marked with a hateful message in 2016, and Robert L. Denney, a neuropsychologist who is board certified in both clinical neuropsychology and forensic psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.
“There are seven people who have both board certifications ... in the world,” Denney said.
Denney is scheduled to continue his testimony on Tuesday. Scherer said the court was in recess until 9 a.m., and she asked both the jury and attorneys to be in court by 8:30 a.m.
The prosecution rested on Aug. 4 after calling 91 witnesses in 12 days, and the public defenders who are trying to save his life rested on Sept. 14 after calling 26 witnesses in 11 days. The prosecution’s rebuttal, the state’s effort to disprove Cruz’s defense, began on Sept. 27.
Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder last year. This allowed only two sentences: Life in prison without the possibility of parole or death. Florida requires a jury’s unanimous vote for execution, so the defense only needs to convince one of the 12 jurors.
Watch the 6 p.m. report
Watch the 5 p.m. report
Watch the 4 p.m. report
Watch Dr. Scott’s testimony on Sept. 27