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‘Unique’ settlement: Florida high school mass shooter agrees to donate brain for science

Florida high school mass shooter Nikolas Cruz agreed to donate his brain to science as part of a unique civil settlement with one of his victims. The settlement also includes rights to Cruz’s name for use in media and compensation from a life insurance policy.

Cruz, armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, killed 17 students and staff members on February 14, 2018 in Parkland high school; one of the deadliest mass shootings in US history.

One of the survivors, Anthony Borges, reached a settlement with Cruz that includes the donation of Cruz’s brain. The aim is to allow scientists to study it and potentially find a way to prevent similar tragedies.

“I figured if scientists studied his brain they might be able to figure out what created this monster,” said Borges’ lawyer Alex Arreaza in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Maybe there was some kind of imbalance that caused this that we can prevent in the future.”

Additionally, the settlement grants Borges the rights to Cruz’s name for use in movies, books, and other media projects. Cruz, now 25 years old and serving a life sentence, is prohibited from profiting from his crimes and must get Borges’ approval before participating in any interviews.

“We didn’t want him to be able to continue torturing the families,” Arreaza emphasized, alluding to OJ Simpson’s infamous book “If I Did It” as a cautionary example.

Scott Herndon, an attorney based in Berkeley who has represented numerous victims of mass shootings, described the settlement as unprecedented.

“I’ve never heard of anything like this before. It’s pretty unique. It underscores the feeling of those left behind that whatever can be done to avoid these massacres in the future should be done,” Herndon told Fox News Digital.

The details were finalized in a Zoom meeting involving Rory Borges (Anthony’s father), Cruz, and Arreaza. Anthony Borges, suffering from PTSD, did not attend the discussions.

“You could see what a psychopath he is,” Arreaza remarked. “He looked at Rory when we were all done and asked if he could apologize, and Nikolas apologized to him like they had been in a car accident together. It was just very cold and weird.”

Anthony Borges, who was 15 at the time, was among the students who narrowly survived Cruz’s rampage. Borges used his body to barricade a door, preventing Cruz from entering a classroom full of students. He sustained severe injuries to his legs and torso, necessitating over a dozen surgeries.

The settlement also provides Borges with $430,000 from a life insurance policy Cruz is expected to receive from a relative. Previously, the Broward County Public School District paid $26 million to the victims of the shooting, with $1.25 million allocated to Borges. An undisclosed settlement from the FBI was also awarded to Borges for their failure to prevent Cruz’s attack.

Borges and other victims have ongoing lawsuits against School Resource Officer Scot Peterson and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. The site of the shooting is currently being demolished, which offers some relief to Borges.

“Every time he drove by there, it brought back memories,” said Arreaza.

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