Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz addresses court after guilty pleas

Nikolas Cruz says the victims and their families of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida should decide whether he lives or dies.

Family members of nearly all of the victims in the 2018 Parkland, Florida, high school massacre have settled a lawsuit against the federal government over the FBI’s failure to act on a tip that the gunman was planning a school shooting, Fox News has confirmed. 

The lawsuit included 16 of the 17 killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The seventeenth victim’s family chose not to sue.

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz sits at the defense table with defense attorney David Wheeler, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.
((Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP, Pool))

Fox News has reached out to their lead attorney, Kristina Infante, for comment. 

The government will pay about $130 million to the families, The New York Times reported.

Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow died in the shooting, commended the FBI for accepting responsibility for its inaction, comparing it to the Broward County school district and sheriff’s office, the school security staff, and the psychologists who treated the shooter. 

He believes they all failed to stop the shooter and have ducked responsibility.

“The FBI has made changes to make sure this never happens again,” Pollack said.

Students are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., during the shooting that took place there in February. 
(AP/South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

About five weeks before the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting, an FBI tip line received a call saying a former Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz had bought guns and planned to “slip into a school and start shooting the place up.”

“I know he’s going to explode,” the caller told the FBI.

FILE: Law enforcement officers block off the entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Feb. 15, 2018 in Parkland, Fla., following a deadly shooting at the school.
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

But that information was never forwarded to the FBI’s South Florida office and Cruz was never contacted. He had been expelled from the school a year earlier and had a long history of emotional and behavioral problems.

Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty last month to 17 counts of first-degree murder. He will receive either a death sentence or life in prison after a penalty trial that is scheduled to start in January.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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