On July 20, Parkland HS mass shooting survivor Anthony Borges testified during the sentencing hearing of Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old implicated in the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.
On February 14, 2018, Cruz entered the premises of his former school before attacking students and teachers with an AR-15-style rifle. Last October, he pleaded guilty to 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.
According to CNN, Borges was considered a hero after the attack, as he was shot while attempting to barricade the classroom to protect himself and other students.
He described his experience of the shooting in court. He said:
“I just laid down there waiting for everything to stop. Everything was silent.”
Anthony Borges, a freshman at the time of the attack, was reported to have been shot five times by Nikolas Cruz during the attack. During Wednesday’s hearing, he revealed the wounds sustained to his leg, back, and armpit.
Anthony Borges testifies against Nikolas Cruz
During the sentencing hearing, Anthony Borges told the court that he would never realize his aspirations of becoming a professional footballer for FC Barcelona due to the injuries he suffered in the attack.
According to Borges, he was once a promising footballer, having played for the Barca Academy in Lauderhill, Florida, back in 2016. However, he said that after being shot by Nikolas Cruz in the shooting, he was afraid he would never be able to walk again, let alone play professionally.
In an interview with The Guardian, Borges described his experience of waking up in the hospital.
“When I opened my eyes the first thing I see is my leg open, and metal [from a brace] busted through it. It was crazy.”
He clarified that despite the grave severity of the physical toll, the trauma was the most unbearable part of the experience.
“[But] the most horrible things were the dreams. It was hell.”
He later added:
“It was like being born [again] … being a baby. Having to learn to walk, to redo everything. I don’t have words to describe how hard is [the] past. Every day was painful.”
While Anthony Borges has said that due to the actions of Nikolas Cruz, he’s suffered life-changing physical and mental trauma, Barcelona FC acknowledged his act of heroism, giving him a signed shirt from the club.
Club representatives said:
“We have given this to Anthony Borges in honor of his bravery after putting his life on the line to save his classmates.”
The trial of Nikolas Cruz is currently ongoing. The hearing will determine whether or not he receives life in prison or a death sentence.