Florida prosecutors intend to seek death penalty for Parkland school shooter

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Nikolas Cruz, 19, has admitted carrying out the attack and is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

The Broward State Attorney's office has filed notice of intent to seek the death penalty for Nikolas Cruz, the accused perpetrator of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

In its filing, the prosecution said that, among the aggravating factors spurring its decision, were that Cruz knowingly created a risk of death for many people, his crime was aimed at hindering "any government function or the enforcement of laws" and that the shooting was "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel".

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In a notice filed Tuesday in circuit court, Michael J. Satz, the Broward state attorney, said the state meant to seek the death penalty for Cruz and would prove that the crime "was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel".

Cruz's only other penalty option is life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Cruz, through his attorneys, had previously expressed a willingness to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty. Cruz's attorney, Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, said in a statement to ABC News that the move by prosecutors "was not unexpected". Not, did he do it? "Should he live or should he die", Finkelstein told The Associated Press last month.

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Mr Finklestein's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. Weeks after being shot, he fell critically ill of an intestinal infection.

His intestinal area has been sealed off and he is breathing on his own after being taken off a ventilator, family attorney Alex Arreaza said.

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