Florida shooter willing to plead guilty to avoid death penalty, attorney says

PARKLAND, Fla —  Florida gunman Nikolas Cruz is willing to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty and spare the community from reliving the massacre in a trial, his public defender said.

Cruz is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in Wednesday’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, who is representing the confessed gunman, said there’s no question he killed the 14 students and three staff members.

“The only question is, does he live or does he die?” Finkelstein asked.

Prosecutors would need to agree not to ask for capital punishment and allow life without parole instead. They could not immediately be reached for comment.

Cruz’s next court date is set for Monday morning. He is being held without bond following a video hearing Thursday in a Broward County court.