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Families Of Parkland Shooting Victims Reach Settlement With DOJ

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has reached a settlement valued at about $130 million with the families of students and faculty who were killed and injured during the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, The New York Times reported on Monday.

The settlement, once finalized, would resolve litigation seeking to hold the FBI accountable for its handling of tips involving the teenage shooter.

Justice Department representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The massacre, one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, left 17 students and staff members dead.

The accused gunman, former Parkland student Nikolas Cruz, pleaded guilty in a Florida courtroom last month to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder. Cruz, 23, still faces a possible death sentence.

Cruz was 19 and an expelled student at the time of the mass murder.

“Although no resolution could ever restore what the Parkland families lost, this settlement marks an important step toward justice,” said Kristina Infante of Podhurst Orseck, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, in a press release.

“Although the financial details of the agreement are presently confidential, it is an historic settlement and the culmination of the Parkland families’ long and arduous efforts toward truth and accountability,” Infante added.

Some Parkland shooting survivors formed March for Our Lives, a gun safety organization that advocates for stricter firearm controls, including stronger background checks and a ban on the type of assault-style rifle that Cruz legally purchased and used in the assault.

Parents of Parkland victims alleged in a 2018 lawsuit that FBI tip line employees acted negligently in their handling of tips regarding Cruz’s stated desire to carry out a school shooting and his growing collection of assault-style rifles and ammunition.

This is the second lawsuit the DOJ has settled over a mass shooting in as many months. Last month, a $88 million settlement was reached with families of victims of the 2015 Mother Emmanuel AME Church shooting in South Carolina.

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