(Washington) The United States Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that it had reached a $127.5 million agreement to end a lawsuit brought by victims of a shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead. 2018.
“The agreement resolves 40 complaints”, but “is not an admission of guilt of the United States”, specifies the department in a press release, without giving more details.
The families’ lawyers, who criticized the federal police for not having investigated information that could have prevented the tragedy, declared in November that they were ready for a “historic agreement”.
On February 14, 2018, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, from which he had been expelled the previous year.
He pleaded guilty in October and is awaiting sentencing. Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty.
In parallel with the criminal case, several families of victims and survivors had filed a civil complaint against the United States, accusing the FBI of not having followed two “tips” informing it of the dangerousness of the young man.
Forty days before the tragedy, a woman who knew him had called the FBI line to say that he was ready to “explode”. He “will slip into a school and start shooting,” she feared.
“The FBI did nothing” about this information, according to their complaint. “Because of his negligence, Cruz was able to kill 17 students and teachers,” the plaintiffs added in their claim for damages.
Five months before the events, the owner of a YouTube channel had also reported a comment left under one of his videos in which a surfer by the name of “nikolas cruz” had claimed that he would become “a professional school shooter”.
FBI agents had questioned the owner of the chain without establishing a link with Mr. Cruz.
The drama of Parkland had aroused immense emotion throughout the United States, and a historic mobilization had been led by several young survivors and the parents of victims.
It peaked on March 24, 2018 when the “March for Our Lives” brought together 1.5 million people across the country.