CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - As students in Broward County prepare to head back to class, one survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre said he won’t be returning this year.
Anthony Borges sat down with Local 10 News to speak about his lengthy recovery and why he and his family don't feel he would be safe going back.
The 15-year-old smiled as he walked into the room on his own, using crutches, despite the five rounds that tore through his torso and leg during the Valentine's Day mass shooting.
"I'm not ready for going because it's dangerous for everyone," he said. "Nobody wants to get shot and maybe there's another Nikolas Cruz over there."
Borges, who moved to the U.S. from Venezuela, saved the lives of several students when he used his own body to block a classroom door.
"Maybe I'm not lucky next time, if it happens again," Borges said.
"Do you feel like something like this could happen again?" Local 10 News investigative reporter Amy Viteri asked.
"Yeah," Borges said. "Of course."
His father, Royer Borges, has been highly critical of the Broward County school district's handling of students like Cruz, specifically the PROMISE program, which allows students to enroll in the program rather than face legal action.
Royer Borges said there were "a lot of red flags" about Cruz and that district officials knew about it. He also questions the Broward Sheriff's Office's response on the day of the shooting.
"BSO and the school board, we need fresh people," Royer Borges said. "We need to clear it out from the bottom."
Anthony Borges said he waited for help after making a tourniquet from his clothes to try to stop the bleeding.
His father said it took authorities almost an hour to get inside the building.
"Why?" he asked. "What (are) they waiting for?"
Anthony Borges has undergone several operations to repair his intestines and shattered leg. He will need more.
His father said the teenager's days as a soccer player are on hold. For now, the focus is on the details, like repairing tendons to help him move his foot.
"Now doctors tell you what?" Viteri asked.
"Well, they just say, you know, 'You have to be happy that he's alive,'" Royer Borges said.
Anthony Borges' parents know they are blessed that he survived and pray something changes to protect other families.
They also spoke about the need for more effective laws to keep mentally ill people from getting guns.
A GoFundMe page has been established to help pay for the family's medical bills.
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