Anthony Borges, a 15-year-old student, sustained life-threatening injuries while shielding his classmates from harm by blocking a door during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. On Friday, Borges’ attorney read a statement from the teen, saying that the county sheriff and superintendent failed the victims of the shooting by not arresting the shooter before the attack.
Borges was shot five times during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14. He suffered wounds to his abdomen, legs, and lungs.
On Wednesday morning, he was released from the hospital, the last of the 17 who were wounded to do be able to go home.
Borges was unable to speak for himself, sitting silently in a wheelchair while his statement was read. The statement criticized the Promise program, the school district, and a sheriff’s office initiative. It also discussed how both the school and sheriff’s office knew the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was dangerous prior to the incident.
According to a report by CBS News, at least a dozen calls were made to deputies about Cruz in the years leading up to the shooting. Just weeks before the massacre, the sheriff’s office and the FBI received calls saying Cruz could potentially become a school shooter.
The statement, read by Alex Arreaza, Borges’ attorney, said that both Superintendent Robert Runcie and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel “failed us students, teachers and parents alike on so many levels.”
“I want all of us to move forward to end the environment that allowed people like Nikolas Cruz to fall through the cracks,” the statement continued. “You knew he was a problem years ago and you did nothing. He should have never been in school with us.”
Borges’ medical bills are anticipated to exceed $1.5 million, though $830,000 has already been raised through online donations to assist with the costs.
The family intends to file a lawsuit but, under state law, they can’t sue the school district or sheriff’s office until a mandatory six-month waiting period expires, which will happen in August.