Parkland families in disbelief as school shooter gets life in prison (includes video story)

Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The final sentencing trial took place on Thursday at the Broward County courthouse.

After sitting through a seven-hour jury deliberation, many families were in disbelief to learn he did not receive the death penalty.

Lori Alhadeff, mother of victim Alyssa Alhadeff, said, “I sent my daughter to school and she was shot eight times. I am so beyond disappointed and frustrated with this outcome. I just don’t understand this.”

According to Florida law, the death penalty requires a unanimous vote from the jury. The jurors, seven men and five women, rejected the death penalty after three jurors voted for life in prison. The victims’ families will be allowed to make statements on Nov. 1 but the judge cannot overturn the jury’s decision.

Layan Abu Tarboush is a digital broadcasting major at FIU, currently pursuing a minor in International Relations. As an international student from Jordan, Layan is fluent in both Arabic and English and has a deep interest in reporting on Middle Eastern affairs. Layan takes pride in being multicultural with great exposure from the East and West.

Julian Davis is a student at Florida International University, pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. Julian is Jamaican-American and is passionate about photography and the environment, always looking for a way to inspire others about the same. He currently works as a photographer for the school newspaper, PantherNOW. After graduation, Julian aspires to do investigative journalism focusing on environmental corruption.