Students after Florida shooting: ‘You’re either with us or against us’
PARKLAND, Fl. — Anthony Borges, 15, was shot five times during the mass shooting at his high school, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.
On Sunday, the injured teenager remained in a hospital bed with his face swollen and his body tethered to IV and oxygen tubes.
“Fortunately, he is recovering — but has a long road ahead with more surgeries needed,” according to a Broward County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post.
The photo showed Sheriff Scott Israel clasping Borges’ hand — a reminder of the brutal toll of the Wednesday massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.
As of Sunday, four patients injured in the shooting remained hospitalized in fair condition, according to Broward Health.
In the grim aftermath of the Parkland, Florida, shooting that left classmates hospitalized and 17 people dead, many students who survived the bloodshed say they can no longer endure a cycle of gun violence followed by inaction.
Many are demanding action from their state lawmakers and Washington. The students are also coming for the National Rifle Association and any politician who takes money from the gun lobbyist. The NRA did not immediately return CNN’s call seeking comment.
In response to politicians who say it’s not the right time to discuss gun issues after such a tragedy, students have set a date to confront the issue.
“Here’s a time to talk about gun control: March 24. My message for the people in office is: You’re either with us or against us. We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around,” said junior Cameron Kasky.
Just days after surviving the ninth deadliest shooting in modern US history, several students have given powerful speeches and compelling TV interviews, voicing their desire to break the continuous loop of massacres. Some have gone on social media, vocal about what they experienced and what action they want to see from those in power.
They plan to converge at the nation’s capital next month and have asked supporters who can’t make it to stage marches in their own communities, according to a mission statement for March For Our Lives.
“You are going to be seeing students in every single major city marching and we have our lives on the line here,” Kasky said.
This week, Parkland students are planning a trip to Tallahassee, during which they hope to have sit-downs with legislators in the state Capitol. About a hundred people, students and chaperones are to arrive Wednesday.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School remains closed through Wednesday, and officials say they hope to reopen the doors by week’s end. It is not clear when students will return.
The school district has also proposed tearing down the building where the shooting happened, Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky said.
Teenager arrested in social media threat
As the South Florida community grapples with the aftermath, a 15-year-old teenager was arrested Friday for posting a threat on Instagram to kill people at several Broward County schools.
The Lauderhill, Florida, teenager appeared to be remorseful and claimed his post was a joke to scare his cousin, according to the Broward Sheriff’s office. He now faces one count of sending a written threat to kill — which is a felony.
Since the massacre in Parkland, there have been at least a dozen reports of other incidents involving a threat to a school or a weapon on campus throughout the country. One of those incidents happened in Desoto County.
In that case two students were arrested after two images began circulating on Snapchat Thursday night with Center Hill High School students tagged in each. One singled out alleged bullies and said there’s no turning back.
As the investigation continues, a review has been ordered by Attorney General Jeff Sessions into how a tip to the FBI about shooter Nikolas Cruz was missed and how the agency responds to indications of potential violence.
The FBI failed to act on a January 5 tip of information about “Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” the agency said.
The proper protocols weren’t followed and the FBI’s Miami office was not notified, the agency said.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau is still investigating what happened.
A video blogger said he warned the FBI in September about a possible school shooting threat from a YouTube user with the same name as Cruz. The FBI did not find information to identify the person who posted the comment and no connection was made to South Florida, said Robert Lasky, FBI special agent in charge of the Miami division.
Cruz, who is facing charges of premeditated murder, is willing to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty, according to the public defender’s office representing him. He is being held without bond in Broward County.
State Attorney Michael J. Satz said Saturday that this “certainly is the type of case the death penalty was designed for,” but now is the time “to let the families grieve and bury their children and loved ones.”