Parkland shooting victim, Anthony Borges, appeared at a news conference on Friday where his attorney read a statement on his behalf criticizing the Broward County Sheriff’s office for failing to protect students during the Feb. 14 school shooting.
Among the most seriously injured, the massacre left Borges with five bullet wounds while he protected the lives of his classmates by blocking a classroom door, reports The Daily Caller.
The statement read by Borges’ lawyer, Alex Arreaza, denounced the deplorable efforts by Sheriff Scott Israel and other officers, and the Broward County School District to protect the students from Nikolas Cruz’s gunfire.
“I know I’ve been called Iron Man,” read Borges’ statement. “And while I’m honored to be called this, I am not. I’m a 15-year-old who’s been shot five times, while Broward Sheriff’s deputies waited outside and decided that they weren’t going to come in the building.”
The school resource officer on duty during the time of the shooting remained outside the building while Cruz continued to gun down students and staff inside, video surveillance footage showed.
Additional officers that arrived on scene also stayed outside the school and did not attempt to stop Cruz from continuing to fire shots inside.
Addressing both Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Superintendent Robert Runcie, Borges’ statement thanked them for visiting him in the hospital, but criticized their failure to protect the lives of students and staff.
“I want to thank you for visiting me in the hospital. But I want to say that both of you failed us students and parents and teachers alike on so many levels.”
Borges’ statement went on to condemn the agreement between the sheriff’s office and school district that prevents students from being arrested and instead encourages counseling and enrollment in other programs.
“I want to ask you today to please end your policy and agreement that you do not arrest people committing crimes at our schools,” his statement continued. “I want all of us to move forward and 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. I ask you today to make a commitment to protect the students and teachers and provide a safe learning environment. People are tired of empty promises that allow this environment to remain.”
Arreaza also noted that Borges’ hospital bills could reach an enormous $1.5 million, and Borges’ father points out that his son’s soccer career is likely no longer possible.
“I appreciate all of the charity that the community has given us. It’s not enough to cover all of the damages, including his career,” Borges’ family said.
The family has filed notice of intent to sue the school district and the school deputy who stayed outside during the shooting has since resigned.