The confessed Parkland shooter's expected guilty plea is bringing up a range of emotions for those 17 families who lost loved ones back in 2018.
Debbie Hixon, who lost her husband — Marjory Stoneman Douglas athletic director Chris Hixon — is navigating this pivotal moment ahead of the plea Wednesday.
"As families, because we’ve been in a holding pattern, there are stages of grief and we’re still in the first stage of anger even this far down the line because there has just been no inkling that justice is ever going to be served," Hixon said. "I think for us it’s a way to move forward."
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The Broward school board member — who has now devoted her time to safer schools — also wants the focus to be on the victims.
"What’s important is what we lost and how do we move forward. He is not important," Hixon said.
The shooter has already pleaded guilty to attacking a BSO jail guard nine months after the mass shooting.
Wednesday could bring some semblance of closure to the South Florida community. While some of the victim’s families have been ready for this day to arrive, others just want to move past the tragedy that shattered their lives forever.
After Wednesday's expected pleas, the Parkland shooter will either face the death penalty or life in prison without parole.
“I would like to see him get the death penalty," Hixon said. "His actions in jail kind of amplify why it’s important.”
Hixon did not mince words on what outcome she would like to see.
“To just continue sucking resources when he’s taken so much already, I just I never in my life thought I would believe what I believe, but there’s a place in hell for him and he needs to go now," she said.
After Wednesday's pleas, the shooter’s fate will be decided by a jury in the next few months.