On Wednesday, the Broward County State Attorney’s Office released snippets of video from the Parkland shooter’s 13-hour interrogation in which he confessed to opening fire on his fellow students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February. In the video, the shooter describes himself as being haunted by a “demon” voice, mutters “just f***ing kill me,” and punches himself in the face repeatedly. But a father of one of the victims isn’t buying it.
The 19-year-old, whose history of “violent outbursts and antisocial behavior” had raised red flags for years, opened fire on students at his school in Parkland on Valentine’s Day, leaving 17 people dead and injuring 17 more, among them students and staff.
“I hear demons,” the admitted shooter said during the 13-hour filmed interview, moments from which were edited together and released by the State Attorney’s Office, the NY Post reports. “To me, it’s me and then my bad side…”
“The voice” he said, gesturing to his head, “is in here and then it’s me, it’s just regular me, just trying to be a good person.”
The video shows a moment when he was left alone in the interrogation room and began to punch himself in the face and temple repeatedly, calling himself a “coward” and “worthless.” He also pretended to shoot himself in the head and said, “Just f***ing kill me.”
Local 10 News spoke about the confession tape with Ryan Petty, whose daughter was killed by the shooter. Watching the footage, Petty said, is “painful.”
“I don’t like to think about that day, to be honest. But if we’re going to figure out how to stop this, we’ve got to try to understand it,” he said. “I mean, it’s clear to me we’ve got a sick individual that I think at the time was coming to grips with what he had just done.”
But another father of a victim had a far different reaction. Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was also killed in the Parkland massacre, dismissed the video as a “bogus confession.”
“Clearly pre-meditated with plans recorded and broadcasted to the world ahead of time on multiple occasions and in multiple venues. He begged for someone to stop him,” Pollack tweeted.
In an interview with Fox News, Pollack said he’s “not buying it,” describing the shooter’s horrific act as “pre-meditated” and part of his plan to make himself “famous.” His performance in front of the tape, Pollack suggested, was all an attempt to portray himself as schizophrenic to avoid the death penalty.
The Post reports that while the public defender of the shooter asked for all of the footage to be withheld, the judge overruled the request and allowed the prosecutors to release clips of it on Wednesday.