US Gives Fla. Schools $1M for Recovery After Shooting - NBC4 Washington
Parkland School Tragedy

Parkland School Tragedy

Continuing coverage of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting

US Gives Fla. Schools $1M for Recovery After Shooting

The money is part of the agency's special funds for schools and universities across the country that have experienced trauma

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Parkland Gunman Future Under Question as Trial Looms

    NBC 6's Willard Shepard reports from Fort Lauderdale where the inheritance of accused gunman of the Parkland school shooting is under dispute.

    (Published Thursday, March 1, 2018)

    The Department of Education has awarded a $1 million emergency relief grant to the Florida school district where 17 people were killed in a shooting last month.

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a Friday statement that the grant to the Broward County Public Schools system will aid "in the healing and recovery process," adding that her "heart is broken" for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14.

    She added that she is "committed to helping identify solutions to prevent another tragedy like this one from happening again."

    The money is part of the agency's special funds for schools and universities across the country that have experienced trauma.

    Resuming classes two weeks after a mass shooting at a Florida high school has been a traumatic adjustment for some parents of children who survived the tragedy.

    Melissa Broccoli and Christine Dunhill were shaking as they reunited Thursday at their usual pick-up spot outside Stoneman Douglas. They had not seen each other since Feb. 14, when they say Nikolas Cruz drove past them in an Uber onto campus, where he fatally shot 17 people.

    "You re-live everything when you come back here and you have to park in the same spots," Broccoli said.

    She has three children who attend the school, and Dunhill has one. Expecting to see their children at the usual dismissal time on Feb. 14, they instead encountered a sheriff's deputy yelling at them to stay in their cars.

    Dunhill said it was not a comfort to return to the same spot and resume their routine because everything had changed, especially for the families of the 14 students killed in the shooting.

    "I am messed up. I'm broken," Dunhill said.

    The women said they had felt helpless during the shooting, and they were trying to be strong for their children.

    "I think they are more courageous and strong than the parents are. I mean, they walked back into that building," Broccoli said.

    Meanwhile, the father and brother of a 14-year-old girl killed at the school pushed Florida lawmakers to pass Gov. Rick Scott's proposals for school safety.

    "This time must be the last time. We can make it the last time if we don't get mired down in the politics," said Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina was killed in the shooting.

    There are several significant differences between Scott's proposal and House and Senate bills.

    Scott wants to put more sheriff's deputies in schools — at least one in every school and one for every thousand students who attend a school. House and Senate bills would create a program that would allow teachers to carry concealed weapons in classrooms if they undergo law enforcement training and are deputized, and if the school district agrees to arm teachers. Scott opposed that idea.

    Surveillance Video Shows Moments During Parkland School Shooting

    [NATL-MI] Surveillance Video Shows Moments During Parkland School Shooting

    Video released by Broward Sheriff's Office show the moments during and after suspected guman Nikolas Cruz opened fire on Feb. 14,  including the reaction of school resource officer Scot Peterson, who later resigned during an investigation.

    (Published Thursday, March 15, 2018)

    Scott's plan goes significantly further in preventing people who show signs of violent behavior or mental illnesses to obtain or keep guns.

    While many families and students from Parkland want an assault-rifle ban or a ban on large capacity magazines, Petty said that language could prevent any bill from passing.

    "If this devolves into a gun control debate, we're going to miss our opportunity to get something done," he told reporters after addressing lawmakers.

    The legislative proposals and the governor's proposals all agree on some gun restrictions, including raising the minimum age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 and to create a waiting period for rifle sales.

    The House and Senate are trying to work out differences in their proposals and expect they will take full-chamber votes next week, at the end of the annual 60-day legislative session.

    A 15-year-old survivor of the shooting is seeking a potential share of any inheritance Cruz may get from his deceased mother. Attorney Alex Arreaza said Anthony Borges, who was shot five times and faces enormous medical bills, plans to file a lawsuit and wants standing as a creditor in the Cruz inheritance case.

    Parkland Shooting Victim's Aunt Pleads For Gun Reform

    [NATL-MI]Parkland Shooting Victim's Aunt Pleads For Gun Reform at Walkout

    The aunt of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting victim attended a walkout Wednesday at the Parkland, Florida, high school where her niece was killed on Feb. 14. "I beg viewers to stand up with these kids and fight with us to get this gun legislation in this country changed," Gina Fontana told NBC 6's Ari Odzer. 

    (Published Wednesday, March 14, 2018)

    It's not clear how much money is available. Cruz's mother died in November; his father died in 2004. Family friend Rocxanne Deschamps seeks to become administrator of the estate for 19-year-old Cruz and his younger brother, Zachary. Cruz lived with Deschamps briefly after his mother died.

    Zachary Cruz blamed himself for the school shooting, according to a Feb. 16 report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. He told detectives he and his friends had bullied Nikolas when they were younger, "which he now regrets ever doing," the report said. "Zachary wishes that he had been 'nicer' to his brother."

    Detectives noted that Zachary Cruz was living in Deschamps' care and had expressed suicidal thoughts to her after learning about what his brother had done.