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Survivor of Parkland high school mass shooting wins ownership of gunman’s name

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A student who was the most severely wounded survivor of the 2018 mass shooting at a South Florida high school now owns the name of the shooter, who will be unable to conduct interviews and be part of documentaries without permission, according to a civil lawsuit.

Anthony Borges, now 21, survived multiple gunshot wounds when Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14, 2018. Under a negotiated civil settlement between Borges and gunman Niklas Cruz, surrendered rights to his name and the story behind the mass shooting that killed 17 students and faculty members and injured 17 others, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Borges will not grant permission for a long time, his attorney told the newspaper. The agreement means that Cruz, 25, cannot benefit from or cooperate with any movies, television shows, books or any other media productions without Borges’ consent, according to The Associated Press.

“He signed over any rights to his name,” Alex Arreaza told the Sun-Sentinel. “The idea now is to shut him out. He will not be the one who decides when or how the story gets told.”

Parkland shooting survivor owns name of gunman. He wants to prevent the convicted killer from profiting

— South Florida Sun Sentinel (@SunSentinel) June 27, 2024

Borges was shot five times while trying to close and lock the door to a classroom at the high school, according to the Miami Herald. He was wounded in both legs, was shot in the back and a bullet shattered his upper left thigh bone, the television station reported.

Borges testified against Cruz at his sentencing trial in 2022 and took the stand in 2023 against former deputy Scot Peterson, who was acquitted of failing to protect students by not confronting the gunman, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Cruz is serving 34 consecutive life sentences somewhere in the Florida State Prison system, according to the newspaper. For his protection, his precise location has been kept secret by the state under a rarely used exemption in the Florida public records law.

Arreaza arranged a Zoom meeting with the shooter earlier this month and persuaded him to give Borges the rights to his name. Borges did not attend the meeting but his father did, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

“I have mixed feelings when I see his face,” Royer Borges, 46, told the newspaper. “I don’t feel rage. I remind myself that you have to know and understand his story. But I also thought, after what he took from my son, whatever he owns in this world, we should take it from him.”

On Wednesday, Arreaza that he was able to persuade Cruz to donate his brain to science when he dies “so it can be studied,” the Sun-Sentinel reported.

“When he dies, he will donate his brain to science so it can be studied,” Arreaza told the newspaper. “What turns a person into Nikolas Cruz? Was it something that we can learn by studying his brain?”

The attorney added that the agreement was reached to take power and control away from Cruz.

“The idea is to keep him from being able to inflict further torture on his victims from jail,” Arreaza told the Sun-Sentinel.

© 2024 Cox Media Group


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