Anthony Borges, a Parkland shooting victim who was shot five times, released a statement on Friday that criticized the Broward County Sheriff’s Office for failing to protect students.
Borges, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, was recently released from the hospital but remains in a wheelchair. He was shot five times while barricading a classroom door to prevent Nikolas Cruz from getting to his classmates.
The survivor appeared with his lawyer, Alex Arreaza, at a press conference on Friday evening. Arreaza read a statement on Borges’ behalf that placed blame on Sheriff Scott Israel, the Broward County School District, and the Broward deputies who did not enter while Cruz was shooting up the school.
“I know I’ve been called Iron Man,” the statement said. “And while I’m honored to be called this, I am not. I’m a 15-year-old who’s been shot five times, while Broward Sheriff’s deputies waited outside and decided that they weren’t going to come in the building.”
Video surveillance footage from the incident showed that deputy Scot Peterson, the school resource officer on duty that day, waited outside the school while gunshots could be heard inside. When additional deputies arrived on scene, they too waited behind their cars with guns drawn. (RELATED: Report: Four Deputies Waited Outside School During Shooting)
Borges’ statement thanked Sheriff Israel and School Superintendent Robert Runcie for visiting him while he was in the hospital but acknowledged, “both of you failed us students and parents and teachers alike on so many levels.”
“I want all of us to move forward and end the environment that allowed people like Nikolas Cruz to fall through the cracks,” he continued. “You knew he was a problem years ago and you did nothing.”
Records show that the sheriff’s office received at least 39 calls requesting service from authorities at Cruz’s home since 2011. The FBI also acknowledged that they received a tip about Cruz but mishandled the call.
The statement added that Borges’ soccer career was over and his family is left with exorbitant hospital bills.
“I appreciate all of the charity that the community has given us. It’s not enough to cover all of the damages, including his career,” his family said.
A total of 17 people died in the shooting.