Family of Parkland Shooting Victim, Teacher Sues Department of Justice

The family of one of the 17 students killed during the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has settled its lawsuit against the US federal government for failing to follow up on a tip that the gunman might become violent, The Associated Press reported.

Broward County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said Thursday that a settlement had been reached in a lawsuit filed by the family of 14-year-old Scott Beigel, one of the students killed during the massacre. The settlement includes a $1 million payment to Beigel’s family and calls for unspecified others of Parkland’s 19 slain victims to be compensated for future funeral and medical costs, plus $20,000 each to three surviving siblings of victim Meadow Pollack. Scherer set a May 4 hearing on whether to approve the settlement.

The lawsuit was filed in November against the Justice Department, FBI Director Christopher Wray and others.

Attorney John Perzel said that the government isn’t admitting it was at fault in the case, but he said it accepted responsibility for the FBI’s failure to follow through on a tip about suspect Nikolas Cruz that was “credibly given to them, with merit, but they didn’t act on it.”

Cruz, a 19-year-old former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killed 17 people and wounded 17 more with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle during a rampage at the school on Feb. 14. A criminal complaint unsealed last week charged Cruz with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Wray said Friday that FBI agents are “still conducting the review.”

“We pride ourselves on having one of the most active and thorough criminal investigative operations in the country,” Wray said. “Unfortunately, we fell short in this instance.”

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