The parents of a Parkland school shooting victim have filed a new lawsuit against the U.S. government, accusing the FBI of failing to stop gunman Nikolas Cruz despite several warnings.
Andrew Pollack and Shara Kaplan filed the complaint on Wednesday in federal court against the ‘United States of America’.
Their 17-year-old daughter, Meadow, was among the 17 students and teachers killed when Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on February 14, 2018.
Andrew Pollack (above with Meadow) and Shara Kaplan have filed a new lawsuit against the U.S. government. Their 17-year-old daughter, Meadow, was among the 17 students and teachers killed when Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire on February 14, 2018
They filed the lawsuit just days before the second anniversary of the massacre that saw their daughter shot nine times.
The lawsuit resembles one filed last year by the parents of two other students killed in the massacre: Jaime Guttenberg and Carmen Schentrup.
Meadows parents argue the FBI is responsible for the deaths because the agency had received tips about Cruz’s violent behavior and access to weapons.
The FBI had received an initial tip about Cruz five months before the shooting from a Mississippi bail bondsman who received a message from the teen saying he was going to be a ‘professional school shooter’, according to the lawsuit.
The bondsman went on to be interviewed by the FBI twice.
A month prior to the shooting, an anonymous caller contacted the FBI to report Cruz’s social media activity – including how he had posted about the animals he had killed and photos of his cache of weapons.
That caller specifically warned the FBI that Cruz might target a school, the lawsuit says.
‘I know he’s going to explode,’ the caller said.
In the lawsuit, the parents argue the FBI is responsible for the deaths because the agency had received tips about Cruz’s (above) violent behavior and access to weapons
The parents filed the lawsuit just days before the second anniversary of the massacre that saw their daughter Meadow shot nine times
The filing said the FBI knew Cruz ‘had the desire and capability to carry out a mass school shooting’ but they ‘failed to take any action whatsoever’.
‘As a direct, proximate, and foreseeable result of the FBI’s negligence, Cruz was able to kill 17 students and teachers and wound many more,’ the lawsuit said.
Meadow’s parents have also filed a separate lawsuit against the school’s resource officer Scot Peterson. They claim his actions contributed to their daughter’s death.
Peterson has been charged with child neglect for his failure to act during the massacre.
It comes after President Donald Trump met on Monday with several family members of the Parkland victims to discuss school safety.
Parents from the group Stand with Parkland were briefed on a new school safety clearinghouse website that was unveiled by the Trump administration.
People hoist up their candles during a vigil for the victims of the shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland
The website is intended to offer educators, parents and law enforcement officers information on best practices to address threats to school safety.
Stand with Parkland, which backed the creation of such a tool to assist schools, has also urged Congress to pass universal background checks on gun purchases, something Trump briefly embraced before backing away from it earlier in his presidency.
‘Of course there is always more that can be done,’ said Max Schachter, whose 14-year-old son Alex was among the victims. ‘But let’s not let perfection be the enemy of good.’
Another Parkland parent, Fred Guttenberg, was removed from Trump’s State of the Union address last week after yelling when the president spoke of his support of the Second Amendment.
Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was killed in the shooting, was a guest of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the address. He later apologized.
Guttenberg, a frequent Trump critic, took to Twitter early Monday to note he was not invited to take part in the White House meeting.
Meadow’s father, Pollack, said he supported the decision not to invite Guttenberg. Pollack is an outspoken supporter of Trump. Pollack said Guttenberg had declined to be part of the group that pushed for the program.