“I remember shaking”: Parkland Stoneman Douglas School teacher Dara Hass testifies in Nikolas Cruz sentencing trial

Dara Hass testified against Nikolas Cruz on Tuesday (Photo via Getty Images)
Dara Hass testified against Nikolas Cruz on Tuesday (Photo via Getty Images)

Nikolas Cruz's sentencing trial continued on Tuesday as more witnesses came forward to testify against him.

A major highlight of the day was the testimony of Dara Hass, a teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and one of the witnesses to the Parkland School Shooting.

While testifying against Cruz in court, she said:

"I remember shaking."

Cruz's trial is taking place at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Cruz, 23, has already pleaded guilty to all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the shooting. The ongoing trial will decide whether he will get life in prison or the death penalty.


What Did Dara Hass Say About Nikolas Cruz?

Hass testified in front of the jury that it was a normal day on February 14, 2018, when all of a sudden gunshots were heard. She said:

"We heard the pop-pop-pop, the sound of the gunshots. It happened quick. My first instinct was it was a drill so I went to shut the blinds but the sound, it was so loud."

Dara fought back tears while describing the day and said:

"I remember shaking and telling the students to go where they need to go, it was a drill. The students were screaming, students were coming to my desk and screaming and shouting. I saw that it was not a drill."

Hass told the jury she saw multiple students who had been in her class getting shot and not surviving the shooting:

"One of the students was injured, he didn’t have time to make it out of his desk, that was Alex Schachter."

Hass also called 911 as the mass shooting underwent. She said:

"The room filled with smoke, it was hazy, the kids were doing the best they could to get to safety in a classroom that has nowhere to go. We just tried our best to follow the direction of the 911 that said to stay quiet and to do our best while help was on the way."

Hess said the gunfire didn't last long. Just how it started, it also stopped suddenly. She said:

"It was hazy and you could smell the sulfur from the guns. Debris was flying across the room, the students were crying and some of the students had been injured and all of the sudden it was quiet."

Hass identified two other students from her classroom apart from Alex Schachter who were shot and died in the shooting. They were Alaina Petty and Alyssa Alhadeff.

Over 20 people, including 12 students, three teachers, a vice principal, a video technician and three FBI agents, have already testified against Nikolas Cruz in the past two days.

The trial of Nikolas Cruz will continue on the third day now. Cruz faces the death penalty or life in prison for the Parkland School Shooting on February 14, 2018.

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