United States to pay $127.5 million to families in Parkland school shooting

The Department of Justice is finalizing details in the Parkland school shooting settlement, which will need approval by a key official.

In February 2018, Nikolas Cruz, now 23, opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida. He killed 14 students and three faculty members, with many others becoming injured. Last month, Cruz pleaded guilty to killing the 17. A jury has yet to decide his fate- the death penalty or life in prison.

On Monday, the DOJ filed the paperwork to finalize the settlement. Someone close to the case, who chose to remain anonymous, said the department would be shelling out $127.5 million to be divided amongst the 40 families who were part of the lawsuit. The families also reached a settlement with the school district, Broward County School District. The district agreed to pay the families $25 million in settlement.

The lawsuits are a result of the FBI and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office acting in negligence by not following up on tips regarding Cruz. There were several warning signs and tips reported by people concerned about Cruz’s behavior. He was said to be acting erratically, had gun ownership, wanted to kill people, and dark social media posts. One tipster suggested that he could be a potential school shooter. By not following up on the tips, the FBI broke its own rule in investigating these tips.

“The word ‘closure’ is not a word I like to use in these instances, because there’s no such thing as closure for these families who have suffered the way they did,” said Counsel Kristina Infante, who is representing the Parkland families who are suing the Justice Department. “It’s something different than that . . . it’s turning the page.”

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