Florida massacre families to get millions for FBI’s inaction
Federal officials confirmed Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Justice has reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the families of most of those killed or wounded in a 2018 Florida high school massacre over the FBI’s failure to stop the gunman even though it had received information he intended to attack.
Attorneys for 16 of the 17 killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and some of those wounded previously announced in November that they had reached a monetary settlement with the government over the FBI’s failure to investigate a tip it received about a month before the massacre. The 17th family chose not to sue.
The government’s announcement Wednesday said the settlement resolves 40 cases connected to the shooting for $127.5 million. The settlement does not amount to an admission of fault by the United States, according to a Justice Department news release.
About five weeks before the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting, an FBI tip line received a call saying a former Stoneman Douglas student, Nikolas Cruz, had bought guns and planned to “slip into a school and start shooting the place up.”
“I know he’s going to explode,” the caller told the FBI.
But that information was never forwarded to the FBI’s South Florida office and Cruz was never contacted. He had been expelled from the school a year earlier and had a long history of emotional and behavioral problems.
Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty last October to 17 counts of first-degree murder. He will receive either a death sentence or life in prison after a penalty trial that is scheduled to start in April.
AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez, File
Incident date: July 20, 2012
City/county: Aurora, Colorado
Family members stand outside Gateway High School where witnesses were brought for questioning after a gunman opened fire at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises Batman movie Friday, July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colo.
AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File
Incident date: Dec. 14, 2012
City/county: Newtown, Connecticut
Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman opened fire, leaving 26 people dead, including 20 children on Dec. 14, 2012.
AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File
Incident date: Sept. 16, 2013
City/county: Washington, D.C.
A police boat patrols near the scene of a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, in Washington. At least one gunman opened fire inside a building at the Washington Navy Yard.
AP Photo/David Goldman, File
Incident date: June 17, 2015
City/county: Charleston, South Carolina
Worshippers embrace following a group prayer across the street from the scene of a shooting at Emanuel AME Church, Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in Charleston, S.C. A white man opened fire during a prayer meeting inside the historic black church, killing multiple people, including the pastor, in an assault that authorities described as a hate crime.
AP Photo/Ryan Kang, File
Incident date: Oct. 1, 2015
City/county: Roseburg, Oregon
A woman is comforted as friends and family wait for students at the local fairgrounds after a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.
AP Photo/Chris Carlson, File
Incident date: Dec. 2, 2015
City/county: San Bernardino, California
Authorities search for a suspect following a shooting that killed multiple people at a social services facility Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif.
AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File
Incident date: June 12, 2016
City/county: Orlando, Florida
Police officers direct family members away from a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla. A gunman massacred 49 people and wounded many others at the gay nightclub.
AP Photo/John Locher, File
Incident date: Oct. 1, 2017
City/county: Las Vegas, Nevada
In this Oct. 3, 2017, file photo, windows are broken at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino in Las Vegas, the room from where Stephen Craig Paddock fired on a nearby music festival, killed 58 and injuring hundreds on Oct. 1, 2017.
AP Photo/Eric Gay, File
Incident date: Nov. 5, 2017
City/county: Sutherland Springs, Texas
A law enforcement official walks past the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
AP Photo/Joel Auerbach, File
Incident date: Feb. 14, 2018
City/county: Parkland, Florida
Parents wait for news after a reports of a shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File
Incident date: May 18, 2018
City/county: Santa Fe, Texas
People react outside the unification center at the Alamo Gym, following a shooting at Santa Fe High School Friday, May 18, 2018, in Santa Fe, Texas.
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File
Incident date: Oct. 27, 2018
City/county: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Students from the Yeshiva School in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, pay their respects as the funeral procession for Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz passes their school en route to Homewood Cemetery following a funeral service at the Jewish Community Center, Tuesday Oct. 30, 2018.
RMG News via AP
Incident date: Nov. 7, 2018
City/county: Thousand Oaks, California
In this image taken from video a victim is treated near the scene of a shooting, Wednesday evening, Nov. 7, 2018, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. A hooded gunman dressed entirely in black opened fire on a crowd at a country dance bar holding a weekly "college night" in Southern California, killing multiple people and sending hundreds fleeing including some who used barstools to break windows and escape, authorities said Thursday. The gunman was later found dead at the scene.
AP Photo/Vicki Cronis-Nohe, File
Incident date: May 31, 2019
City/county: Virginia Beach, Virginia
A police chaplain heads toward Princess Anne Middle School in Virginia Beach, Va, on Friday, May 31, 2019. A longtime city employee opened fire at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, killing 11 people before police shot and killed him, authorities said. Six other people were wounded in the shooting, including a police officer whose bulletproof vest saved his life, said Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera.
AP Photo/Rudy Gutierrez, File
Incident date: Aug. 3, 2019
City/county: El Paso, Texas
An El Paso police officer talks to a store employee following a shooting at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Multiple people were killed and one person was in custody after a shooter went on a rampage at a shopping mall, police in the Texas border town of El Paso said.
AP Photo/John Minchillo, File
Incident date: Aug. 4, 2019
City/county: Dayton, Ohio
Shoes are piled outside the scene of a mass shooting at Ned Peppers bar, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. Nine people in Ohio were killed in the second mass shooting in the U.S. in less than 24 hours.
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File
Incident date: Aug. 31, 2019
City/county: Midland, Texas
Law enforcement officials process the crime scene from a shooting which ended with the shooter being shot dead by police in a stolen mail van, right, in Odessa, Texas. The mass shooting in West Texas spread terror over more than 10 miles as the gunman fired from behind the wheel of a car.
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File
Incident date: March 16, 2021
City/county: Atlanta, Georgia
Law enforcement officials confer outside a massage parlor following a shooting on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Atlanta. Shootings at two massage parlors in Atlanta and one in the suburbs left eight people dead, several of them women of Asian descent, authorities said Tuesday.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File
Incident date: March 22, 2021
City/county: Boulder, Colorado
Police work on the scene outside a King Soopers grocery store where gunman killed 10 people on Monday, March 22, 2021, in Boulder, Colo.
AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File
Incident date: April 15, 2021
Police stand near the scene where multiple people were shot at the FedEx Ground facility early Friday morning, April 16, 2021, in Indianapolis. A gunman killed eight people and wounded several others before apparently taking his own life in a late-night attack at a FedEx facility near the Indianapolis airport, police said.