Parkland School Shooter Loses Control of His Name to Survivor

( — In an unusually negotiated civil settlement, one of the survivors of the 2018 Parkland school shooting has been granted rights to the gunman’s name. This means that the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, cannot give any interviews without permission, and he cannot make any money from films, shows, or similar material. That money would have to be turned over to plaintiff Anthony Borges.

Borges was only 15 when 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz shot him five times as he tried to shield his classmates from harm. Cruz killed 17 people and injured 17 others that day, and now he is serving 34 consecutive life sentences in the Florida state prison system. His exact location has not been released for his safety under a rare exemption in Florida public records law.

Borges was originally part of lawsuits that were filed by survivors, families of the slain, and physically uninjured survivors. However, he broke from the group and pursued an individual settlement with his own attorney Alex Arreaza. The larger group had decided that the families of those who died in the mass shooting deserved greater settlements than survivors. Borges ended up receiving a higher settlement than he would have if he had remained part of the group lawsuits. However, Borges was so grievously injured that he may require a lifetime of medical and psychological treatment. Arreaza commented that it’s hard to even predict if the amount he was awarded will cover all his future medical expenses.

None of the other litigants have sought compensation directly from Cruz. Arreaza, together with Borges’ father, Royer Borges, met with Cruz in a Zoom meeting where the shooter agreed to several unusual requests. Anthony Borges now owns the rights to Cruz’s name. All rights for the use of his name in books, movies, television, or any other media now belong to Borges. Cruz cannot even give interviews without Borges permission.

Cruz is also required to turn any money he may receive as a beneficiary of life insurance policies to Borges. Finally, he has agreed to participate in any scientific studies of mass shooters, and eventually donate his physical body, including all organs and brain, to an institution of Anthony Borges’ choosing for study.

Borges is not interested in revenge, saying that he is “not with that mentality.” His lawyer says the point is to prevent him from causing more harm to his victims from jail. He added that Borges won’t have to face listening to Cruz discuss what he did on a Netflix special. If the story of that terrible day is to be told, it will be told by the survivors, not the perpetrator. Further, he suggested that by donating his body to science, Cruz may provide data that could prevent similar incidents from ever happening again.

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