As households started burying their lifeless, authorities questioned whether or not they might have prevented the assault on a South Florida highschool the place a gunman took the lives of 14 college students, the athletic director, a coach and a geography instructor.
At funerals and within the streets of Parkland, a suburb on the sting of the Everglades, anger bubbled over on the senselessness of the taking pictures and on the widespread availability of weapons. A rally to help gun-safety laws was scheduled for Saturday on the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.
Throughout a funeral Friday for 18-year-old Meadow Pollack, her father appeared down at his daughter’s plain pine coffin and screamed in anguish as Gov. Rick Scott and 1,000 others sat in Temple Ok’ol Tikvah.
“You killed my child!” Andrew Pollack yelled, referring to Nikolas Cruz, who’s accused of gunning down Meadow and 16 others. “My child is lifeless. It goes via my head all day and all evening. I hold listening to it. That is simply unimaginable that I’ll by no means see my princess once more.”
He briefly paused as mourners, punched by the rawness of his phrases, started to wail.
“I wasn’t capable of do something about it. I’ve at all times been capable of shield my household,” he stated. “Our youngsters ought to be protected.”
Not lengthy after that funeral, the FBI stated it acquired a tip final month that Cruz had a “want to kill” and entry to weapons and may very well be plotting an assault, however brokers failed to research. The governor referred to as for the FBI director to resign.
An individual who was near Cruz referred to as the FBI’s tip line on Jan. 5 and offered details about Cruz’s weapons and his erratic conduct, together with his disturbing social media posts. The caller was involved that Cruz might assault a faculty.
In a press release, the company acknowledged that the tip ought to have been shared with the FBI’s Miami workplace and investigated, however it was not. The startling admission got here because the company was already going through criticism for its remedy of a tip a few YouTube remark posted final 12 months. The remark posted by a “Nikolas Cruz” stated, “Im going to be an expert faculty shooter.”
The FBI investigated the comment however didn’t decide who made it.
Legal professional Normal Jeff Classes stated the taking pictures that killed 17 individuals Wednesday was a “tragic consequence” of the FBI’s missteps and ordered a evaluation of the Justice Division’s processes. He stated it’s now clear that the nation’s premier legislation enforcement company missed warning indicators.
In additional proof that there had been indicators of bother with Cruz, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel stated his workplace had acquired greater than 20 calls about him previously few years.
Cruz was being held with out bail on the Broward County Jail on 17 counts of first-degree homicide.
Authorities haven’t described any particular motive, besides to say that Cruz had been kicked out of the highschool, which has about three,000 college students and serves an prosperous suburb the place the median house value is almost $600,000. College students who knew him described a risky teenager whose unusual conduct had prompted others to finish friendships.
Information of legislation enforcement’s admissions enraged these in the neighborhood.
“The FBI has failed,” stated Lewis Mizen, a 17-year-old pupil at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive College, the place the assault occurred. “It’s going to be a mark on their identify without end. Their errors have value the lives of 17 individuals. There are individuals lifeless as a result of they failed of their jobs.”
Throughout the web, college students who had been caught within the crossfire on the faculty spoke out. Some took politicians to job on Twitter. A 17-year-old junior wrote an essay for CNN, saying that he and his classmates deliberate to strain politicians into taking motion. One pupil requested President Donald Trump to fulfill together with her. Some teenagers have been vital of Trump for failing to say weapons in his feedback in regards to the assault.
On Friday night, Trump visited a Florida hospital the place he greeted medical employees and thanked the docs, nurses and first responders who helped the taking pictures victims. He informed reporters he additionally met with a number of the victims who’re nonetheless hospitalized. He later met with members of the Broward County Sheriff’s workplace and native legislation enforcement, together with Coconut Creek Police Officer Mike Leonard, who stated he was the one who apprehended Cruz.
Sidney Fischer, a junior who was in a Holocaust historical past class when the shooter aimed his gun on the window and shot into the room, went on Reddit on Friday to recount his harrowing expertise and reply questions. Two college students in his classroom died, and one of many slain college students, Joaquin Oliver who glided by the nickname ‘Guac,’ had simply been transferred into his algebra class.
“I can’t imagine that after I return to highschool, his seat will probably be empty and life will simply go on,” Fischer wrote.