PLANTATION (CBSMiami) — Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victim Anthony Borges and his family held a news conference in Plantation Friday evening where he blamed BSO Sheriff Scott Israel and Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie for failing students and faculty.
“To Sheriff Israel of the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Robert Runcie, the Superintendent of schools in Broward, I want to thank you for visiting me at the hospital, but I want to say that both of you failed us, students, teachers and parents alike, on so many levels,” read his attorney Alex Arreaza.
Arreaza said Anthony, 15, lays blame for the shooting at the feet of Sheriff Israel and Runcie for not doing more to prevent self-confessed gunman Nikolas Cruz from being able to be in the school that day.
Borges’ statement says school officials allowed Cruz to continue attending school even after realizing he was dangerous.
“I want to ask you today to end your policy and agreement that you will not arrest people committing crimes in our school,” Anthony said in the statement.
This comment in reference to Broward County’s Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Support & Education Program or PROMISE Program. The program is designed to allow students who commit minor crimes at school to receive counseling and other treatment rather than go to jail.
Even though Runcie has said that Cruz was not part of the PROMISE program, the Borges family has serious concerns about the program which discourages the arrests of students for certain offenses.
In addition, Anthony spoke to the families of the deceased victims.
“They were not as fortunate to survive as I was. I don’t know why I survived and they didn’t but I will tell you that my family and I will dedicate our lives to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. To the other injured, I hope you are recovering well. We have the responsibility to tell the world what happened here,” Arreaza read.
Borges was shot five times. He was released Wednesday morning from Broward Health Medical Center after nine surgeries. The teen is credited with saving the lives of 20 classmates by attempting to close and lock a classroom door during the shooting.
The Borges family also said that while they are grateful for the hero label that Anthony received after helping to protect his classmates they would like to see that end. Instead, they say they want to focus on the failures within the system that allowed law enforcement to miss warning signs on Cruz.