The parents of 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff, who was among the 17 people killed in the Parkland massacre, said they were “disgusted” with the jury’s decision to recommend life in prison over the death penalty for the gunman.
Lori and Ilan Alhadeff spoke to reporters shortly after the recommendation was read in court.
Ilan said his family was “beyond disappointed with the outcome,” adding it “should have been the death penalty — 100%.”
“I’m disgusted with our legal system,” the visibly angry father said outside court. “I’m disgusted with those jurors.”
Both parents questioned the purpose of the death penalty in Florida’s legal system if not for the case of a mass school shooter.
“What is the death penalty for?” Lori asked.
She also called on law enforcement to do more to prevent school shootings, and to act more aggressively to stop them.
“Law enforcement needs to do their job,” the mother said. “Your job as a police officer is to go in, engage and take down the threat. And if you can’t do that, don’t do the job.”
The Alhadeffs said they will continue to work through their nonprofit, Make Schools Safe, to advocate for tougher school safety policies.
Ilan thanked the state for its prosecution of the Parkland gunman, while condemning the trial’s outcome.
“The system continues to fail us,” he said.
About Alyssa Alhadeff: Alyssa, 14, was a student at Stoneman Douglas and a soccer player for Parkland Travel Soccer.
“Alyssa Alhadeff was a loved and well respected member of our club and community,” Parkland Travel Soccer said on Facebook. “Alyssa will be greatly missed.”
Lori told HLN she dropped her daughter off at school the day of the shooting and said, “I love you.” When the mother heard about the attack, she hustled to school, but was too late.
“I knew at that point she was gone. I felt it in my heart,” she said.