The mother of one of the Parkland school shooting victims spoke of her “unspeakable loss” Wednesday as victim impact statements continued for a third day at the sentencing trial of the gunman.
Jennifer Montalto said her daughter Gina will be “forever 14” after being one of 17 who died in the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“I live a life that is unimaginable for others,” Jennifer Montalto told jurors. “I find myself questioning how I will be able to make it to the next day.”
Jennifer and Tony Montalto remembered their daughter as a Girl Scout who did volunteer work and loved reading.
“I was so happy to be her father, she was beautiful and a gift from God,” Tony Montalto said. “Life without Gina is nearly unbearable.”
“She had a bright future ahead of her,” Jennifer Montalto said.
Father Max Schachter spoke about losing his son Alex in the shooting.
“Our family is broken, there is this constant emptiness,” he said. “I want my family back, I want my sweet Alex back.”
He spoke about Alex’s time in Stoneman Douglas’ marching band and about how talented a writer he was.
Alex Schachter’s brother, Ryan, read a poem that Alex had written and that they found shortly after his death titled “Life is Like a Rollercoaster.”
“Life is like a rollercoaster, it has some ups and downs,” the poem began.
Grieving family members have spent the past three days fighting back tears to discuss the loss and pain they’ve experienced in the four years since the shooting.
Gunman Nikolas Cruz, now 23, pleaded guilty to the murders in October. Jurors are deciding whether he’ll be sentenced to death or spend the rest of his life in prison.