A student who was gravely wounded after being shot five times while shielding classmates during the Florida high school shooting in February criticized the county sheriff and school superintendent Friday saying they failed the victims by not arresting the shooter before the massacre.
Anthony Borges, 15, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., was hailed a hero after he used his body to protect the lives of 20 others students after accused gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the school on Feb. 14, 2018, killing 17 people.
He was released from the hospital Wednesday after suffering wounds to the lungs, abdomen and legs.
Borges’ attorney read a statement from the teen during a news conference criticizing Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and Superintendent Robert Runcie for the massacre. Borges, too weak to talk, sat silently in a wheelchair with his right leg propped up. His statement specifically attacked the Promise program, a school district and sheriff office initiative that allows students who commit minor crimes on campus to avoid arrest if they complete rehabilitation. Runcie has said Cruz, a former Stoneman Douglas student, was never in the program, but Borges and his attorney, Alex Arreaza, said school and sheriff’s officials knew Cruz was dangerous.
Deputies received at least a dozen calls about Cruz, 19, over the years and he spent two years in a school for children with emotional and disciplinary problems before being allowed to transfer to Stoneman Douglas. Last year, records show he was forced to leave after incidents – other students said he abused an ex-girlfriend and fought her new boyfriend. Weeks before the shooting, both the FBI and the sheriff’s office received calls saying Cruz could become a school shooter but neither took action.
Runcie and Israel “failed us students, teachers and parents alike on so many levels,” Arreaza read for Borges, who sat next to his father, Roger. “I want all of us to move forward to end the environment that allowed people like Nikolas Cruz to fall through the cracks. You knew he was a problem years ago and you did nothing. He should have never been in school with us.”
Nope, but arresting him would have hurt their numbers. And their numbers were more important to them than the kids.