PARKLAND, Fla. — A 15-year-old Parkland student who was shot five times on Feb. 14 while placing his body against the classroom door to prevent shooter Nikolas Cruz from entering has now gone home from the hospital—being the last of the 17 injured to do so.
Anthony Borges suffered gunshot wounds to the lungs, abdomen and legs, and had to undergo nine surgeries, including one to remove one-third of his lung. One bullet came close to his liver.
“I [thought] I was going to die,” he told NBC News this week while recovering at home.
Borges is being hailed a hero for saving 20 classmates in the room that day by acting as a human shield and taking the bullets for his peers. He has received supportive mail from across the country, and a GoFundMe page for Borges has raised over $840,000 as of press time. Medical expenses are expected to top $1 million.
Doctors say the road to restoration will be long, but Borges should make a full recovery. Borges is simply thankful to be alive, being released from the hospital on Wednesday.
“I feel good,” he said.
However, the teen says that he is deeply concerned about what he sees as the failure of school officials and the Broward County Sheriff’s Department to adequately protect students.
“I know I’ve been called Iron Man. And while I’m honored to be called this, I am not,” he said in a statement read by his attorney, Alex Arreaza. “I’m a 15-year-old who’s been shot five times while Broward Sheriff’s deputies waited outside and decided that they weren’t going to come in the building.”
Referring to the Broward County School District, he said, “I want to ask you today to please end your policy and agreement that you do not arrest people committing crimes at our schools. I want all of us to move forward and end the environment that allowed people like Nikolas Cruz to fall through the cracks.”
Borges and his family plan to file a lawsuit over the matter, and have already filed a notice of intent through Arreaza.
“The failure of Broward County Public Schools, and of the Principal and School Resource Officer to adequately protect students, and in particular our client, from life-threatening harm were unreasonable, callous and negligent,” the notice reads.
As previously reported, Howard Finkelstein, the public defender representing Nikolas Cruz, says that he has been disturbed by the “piles of letters” that have poured in for Cruz, especially love letters or extensions of friendship from young teenage girls.
Finkelstein says that he will not read such letters to Cruz, but only the few that have written to urge the 19-year-old to turn to God.
“The letters shake me up because they are written by regular, everyday teenage girls from across the nation. That scares me. It’s perverted,” he told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “We read a few religious ones to him that extended wishes for his soul and to come to God, but we have not and will not read him the fan letters or share the photos of scantily-clad teenage girls.”
Cruz has requested a Bible, according to jail documents, but has not yet been provided with one as he is in isolation on suicide watch.
Speaking on the matter of the human heart and the disease of sin that infects all men, the late Anglican preacher J.C. Ryle once wrote:
“Let us remember … that every part of the world bears testimony to the fact that sin is the universal disease of all mankind. Search the globe from east to west and from pole to pole, search every nation in every climate in the four quarters of the earth, search every rank and class in our own country from the highest to the lowest, and under every circumstance and condition, the report will always be the same.
The remotest islands of the Pacific Ocean, completely separate from Europe, Asia, Africa and America, beyond the reach alike of Oriental luxury and Western arts and literature, islands inhabited by people ignorant of books, money, steam and gunpowder—uncontaminated by the vices of modern civilization—these very islands have always been found, when first discovered, the abode of the vilest forms of lust, cruelty, deceit and superstition. If the inhabitants have known nothing else, they have known how to sin! Everywhere the human heart is naturally ‘deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.’”