Two survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, announced that they will sue the school, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI for failing to prevent the shooting last month.
Anthony Borges, 15, announced through his attorney on March 5 that he plans to sue Broward Sheriff’s Office and the Broward County Public School District, the Miami Herald reported.
The planned lawsuit will allege that more should have been done to protect the students and faculty inside Stoneman Douglas on February 14 when confessed gunman Nikolas Cruz walked into the school with an AR-15 rifle and killed 17 people.
“The failure of Broward County Public Schools and of the principal and school resource officer to adequately protect students, and in particular our client, from life-threatening harm were unreasonable, callous and negligent,” attorney Alex Arreaza wrote in the letter of intent. “Such action or inaction led to the personal injuries sustained by my client.”
Scot Peterson, the Broward County sheriff’s deputy who was guarding the school during the shooting, has been heavily criticized for failing to enter the building and stop the gunman. Peterson resigned after he was suspended without pay by the sheriff’s office for how he handled the incident.
Borges was shot five times, three times in the legs and twice in the chest. His family is suing to seek money for his medical expenses. He has had multiple surgeries and is still recovering at Broward General Medical Center. He still can’t walk and requires help for even rudimentary tasks, according to the letter his attorney filed.
Borges has been called a hero after he tried to shut a classroom door when he was shot, saving almost 20 other students as the shooter got closer. The 15-year-old is a Boy Scout and reportedly used those lessons to tie a tourniquet on himself and stem the bleeding.
Another survivor announced on March 6 that he also plans to sue the school and the sheriff’s office as well as the FBI and Florida’s Department of Children and Families, according to the Miami Herald.
Kyle Laman, 15, plans to file a suit targeting each agency for how they handled the situation. The school and police department should have done more to protect students and the FBI and DCF failed to act on tips warning about Cruz’s violent intentions.
Laman was shot in the foot and has had two surgeries, with two more scheduled in the future. He is credited with providing police an accurate description of the gunman that led to Cruz’s arrest.
A Broward County Schools spokesperson declined to comment on the letters, but more lawsuits are expected in the coming months.
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