Nikolas Cruz, the accused in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018 that killed 17 people, is facing trial at a Florida court. The jury is currently reading out their recommendations on whether Cruz should face the death penalty or a life sentence without parole for the deadliest shooting in the history of the United States to ever go on trial. 

The jury has so far given their recommendation on one count that Cruz be given a life sentence in prison for planning and executing the Parkland shooting. They are deliberating 16 more counts, and he might face either a life sentence or death penalty in each.

Also read: Parkland school shooter, Nikolas Cruz sentencing: Jury recommendation

Cruz, now 24, was born to Brenda Woodward who lived in different parts of Broward County and has a long criminal record. The defense for Cruz had argued that Cruz’s mother’s history of substance abuse is taken into account as a mitigating factor and he be given life in prison instead of death penalty. 

Along with Nikolas, Woodward has a daughter called Danielle, who also appeared in court for Cruz’s trial.

Nikolas Cruz was taken for adoption by a Florida couple Lynda and Roger Cruz shortly after his birth. They sought his custody via a private attorney on account of his mother’s criminal record and history of substance abuse.

Also read: Parkland shooter trial: Prosecutors ask jury to recommend death sentence for Nikolas Cruz

However, the couple did not live long to support Cruz as Roger died when Cruz was still young, and Lynda followed in November 2017, just two months before the shooting happened. Nikolas was 19 years old at the time of the shooting.

Along with Nikolas, Lynda and Roger had another son called Zachary Cruz. He is 22 years old and was arrested for trespassing the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after his brother caused a massacre there. He is slated to appear in a reality TV show on his life, likely to be aired later in 2022.