Surveillance footage showing the Parkland school shooter buying an Icee and chatting with a student in a McDonald's shortly after gunning down 17 people was played at his sentencing trial Thursday.
The footage, previously not released to the public, first showed gunman Nikolas Cruz casually walking into a Subway sandwich shop inside a Walmart not far from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018.
The video was introduced by prosecutors Thursday morning during testimony from Subway employee Carlos Rugeles.
The gunman, wearing a New York Police Department hat and maroon Stoneman Douglas ROTC shirt, is seen ordering the Icee and leaving the store.
Get New England news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NECN newsletters.
Rugeles had no idea that he was serving the man who'd just killed 17 people and wounded 17 others in one of the deadliest school shootings in history.
The gunman, now 23, pleaded guilty to all murder and attempted murder charges in October. Jurors are deciding whether he'll be sentenced to life in prison or receive the death penalty.
Other surveillance footage shown to jurors Thursday showed Cruz walking into a McDonald's near the school, where he sat down at a table with John Wilford.
U.S. & World
At the time he encountered the gunman, Wilford didn't know that his sister, Madeline, had been severely wounded in the shooting after she was hit by gunfire four times.
"Everyone was kind of panicked, not knowing what was going on," Wilford testified Thursday. "I was trying to get a hold of my sister and she wasn’t picking up, so I called my mother to meet her at McDonald's."
Wilford said he was panicked when the gunman walked in and sat across from him. But at the time, Wilford didn't realize the man sitting with him had just fled the shooting scene.
"I figured he was from school because of the JROTC uniform he was wearing," Wilford said. "I was just telling him 'this was so chaotic, what do you think this could be?' He didn’t respond much, had his head down. I did most of the talking."
Wilford said the gunman asked him for a ride when his mother arrived.
"He was pretty insistent about it. I couldn’t reach my sister and had a bad gut feeling about it," Wilford said. "I normally would offer people a ride but not this time. Then I saw him walking along the road later."
Coconut Creek Police Officer Michael Leonard also testified about how he arrested the gunman a short time later.
Leonard said he had a description of the gunman and was driving the streets looking for him when he suddenly spotted him on a sidewalk.
"I drew my weapon, he turned and looked at me, I yelled commands at him, he followed," Leonard testified.
Prosecutors played footage of the arrest and still photos of the gunman in custody.
The state also questioned on Thursday morning the last seven of 44 witnesses over four days of testimony in the sentencing trial's first week.
Among those questioned was former student Benjamin Wikander, who was shot in the arm. Wikander said he remembered being carried out of the school by police officers.
He suffered severe nerve damage and still has to wear a brace on his hand as a result of the shooting.