The Florida school district where a former student massacred 17 people in 2018 agreed on Monday to shell out $25 million to victims’ families.
The Broward County school district will pay the sum in a legal settlement with 52 families of people murdered, hurt, or traumatized during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting.
The district was accused of negligence for prevailing to prevent the attack by ex-student Nikolas Cruz, who stormed into the school and opened fire in February 2018.
“It’s hard to talk about money because your daughter was murdered,” parent Andrew Pollack told The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, which was first to report the settlement.
It was “painful money” after his daughter Meadow, 18, was among those killed that day, he said.
“How could you be happy about it?”
The amount the school will pay to each party isn’t clear, but the highest amounts will go equally to the families of 14 students and three school workers killed in the massacre, according to the victims’ attorney.
Attorney David Brill said the settlement wasn’t ”near enough” to compensate the victims.
“This settlement is fair and remarkable given the circumstances,” Brill said.
The school district declined comment to the AP.
The settlement also includes 16 of 17 people wounded in the shooting, but one of those shot by Cruz has a separate lawsuit pending.
Two people who lost family members in the killing have since been elected to the school board, but sat out of settlement talks.
Families are still suing an armed resource officer and two security guards who they say didn’t intervene to protect the children and staff when the gunfire erupted. Resource Officer Scot Peterson allegedly didn’t go into the building at the time of the massacre.
Cruz, now 23, agreed to plead guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder and can be slapped with the death penalty or life with no parole. He also faces charges in a separate case for attacking a jail guard while behind bars after the mass shooting.
Cruz’s plea comes without conditions though his attorneys unsuccessfully tried to reach a deal to plead guilty to avoid Cruz getting put to death.
The shooter, who had been expelled from the school a year before the massacre, cried during a court hearing earlier this month when a coloring book and colored pencils were taken from him in court.
With Post wires