The Parkland shooter calmly sat next to one of his victims' brothers at a McDonald's minutes after the massacre, chilling video played in court shows

·3 min read
marjory stoneman douglas high school memorial
Mourners visit a makeshift memorial outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on February 14, 2020, during the two-year anniversary of the Parkland shooting where 17 victims were killed.Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
  • Jurors watched a video of the Parkland shooter sitting in a McDonald's after the shooting.

  • The shooter sat next to one of the victims' siblings, who was trying to reach his injured sister.

  • They didn't know each other, and Wilford didn't know that a shooting had happened.

An eerie video showed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter walking into a McDonald's – minutes after opening fire on the school – and sitting down with the brother of a victim who was trying to reach his injured sister.

The surveillance video was shown to jurors on the fourth day of the gunman's sentencing trial, according to The Independent.

On February 14, 2018, the gunman shot and killed 17 students and staff members at the Parkland, Florida school, wounding dozens more. He pleaded guilty in October 2021 to 17 counts of attempted murder as well as 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Jurors will now decide whether he will face a life sentence without the possibility of parole, or the death sentence.

During the start of the sentencing trial earlier this week, jurors listened to witness audio from the day of the shooting as the shooter buried his head in his hands while it played. The clip was so harrowing that it prompted some in attendance to leave the courtroom.

On Thursday, jurors watched a video that showed the gunman walking casually into a Subway restaurant where he bought a soda. He then walked to a nearby McDonald's where he chose to sit in a booth directly in front of another teenager – even though several other booths were open, according to The Independent.

That teenager was the brother of one of the students the gunman had shot around half an hour before he walked into the McDonald's, prosecutors said. John Wilford, the brother, told the jury that he sought shelter in the restaurant to try and contact his mother and sister.

The shooter "came and sat down right next to me," Wilford told the court, adding that he had never met him prior. "I didn't think much of it as I was panicked."

Wilford told jurors that he said "this is so chaotic" to the gunman – not knowing who he was – and asked what happened at the school. According to Wilford, the shooter sat with his head down and "didn't really say much." When he asked Wilford for a ride, he refused in order to go with his mom and track down his sister.

Madeleine, John's sister, survived the shooting and told the court on Thursday that she was "shot four times in my right arm, my right lung, some of my ribs on my right side and I had surgery on the right side of my abdomen."

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