David Wilford and his children returned to court in Broward County in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday. He was seated in the front row across from the witness stand with direct view of Nicolas Cruz.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School alumni John and Madeleine “Maddy” Wilford testified against Cruz during the death penalty trial. Prosecutor Mike Satz on Wednesday urged Maddie to focus on her injuries. A day later, Satz asked John to describe his encounter with Cruz after the February 14, 2018 massacre.
“I just told him, you know, ‘This is crazy! You know, ‘This is crazy! All these helicopters and patrol cars came. What do you think that might be? I don’t remember what he said,” John said. Surveillance video showed John sitting in a booth when Cruz joined him. Cruz drank cherry blueberry ice cream he bought at a nearby Subway Walmart.
“I didn’t think about it too much. I thought he came home from school because of his clothes,” John said, adding that he had never met Cruz before. Cruz was wearing a burgundy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps polo shirt, black overalls and a baseball cap with the NYPD logo.
When John’s mother told him to go to the parking lot, Cruz followed. John said Cruz was “very firm” about getting a ride, which he declined. “I was nervous. I was panicking. I also had a bad intuition,” John said.
Cruz decided to leave. John said he and his mother drove past him. Shortly thereafter, Officer Michael Leonard of the Coconut Creek Police Department also saw Cruz leave and arrested him. Maddie Wilford said Cruz shot her and she passed out while in hospital. She said she had to undergo four surgeries.
“I got four shots in my right arm, right lung, some ribs on my right side, and I had surgery on my abdomen,” Wilford said later, adding, “I can use my hands, but I still have trouble breathing. “
Leave a Reply