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Brother of Parkland school shooting victim welcomes demolition: 'Provides us closure'

A family member of one of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting victims said he is glad that the 1200 building where the 2018 massacre took place is being demolished.

The brother of one of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting victims said he is glad that the building where the 2018 massacre took place is being torn down.

Demolition began Friday of the 1200 building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where Nikolas Cruz killed 14 students and three adults in a Valentine's Day shooting. Cruz's rampage injured 17 others in what was the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history. 

Hunter Pollack, whose sister Meadow was one of the slain students, said the building is a constant reminder of the horrific tragedy. 

"Every day I drive by that building, the pain in my heart. It makes me want to throw up because it reminds me my sister was murdered on that third floor. It could have been prevented, it wasn't prevented, and it makes me furious," Pollack, 26, told Fox News Digital. 

"I think the building should be knocked down. We'll never forget that Meadow is dead, of course, she’ll be forever in our hearts."


The 1200 building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland has stood as a painful reminder of that tragic day and a nightmarish backdrop to current students who have been attending school in a new adjacent building on the campus. The new building replaced temporary classrooms students had been using for years after the massacre.

For years, it was left standing, frozen in time with its bullet-ridden walls and dry blood-stained floors as Cruz’s case and that of Parkland school resource officer Scot Peterson moved through the courts.

In 2022, Cruz was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, while Peterson was acquitted last year of felony child neglect and other criminal charges for failing to enter the building, engage the gunman and help the victims during the six-minute rampage.

However, the 1200 building is now being ripped down, and the operation is expected to take several weeks. Torrential rain in the Sunshine State prevented the start of demolition from going ahead as initially planned on Thursday. 

Survivors, families of victims, as well as teachers and staff, had any items they desired returned to them, the Broward County Public Schools said.


Pollack said the 1200 building is passed by residents every day given its prominent location in the neighborhood, at the intersection of Holmberg and Pine Island, and has had a fence erected around it. 

"We don't need the building there to remind us, the building is just a negative thing in our community," Pollack said. 

"Especially for the kids going to school there and the other people that live in Parkland that weren't necessarily affected by the tragedy. But I have to be reminded every time they drive by the building. So I'm 100% in support of knocking down that building. It's time we provide our community with some closure and having that building does not provide any closure."

It is unclear what will become of the site after the structure is torn down. 

"I think we could build a beautiful memorial, but if we build nothing, I'm OK with that, too," Pollack says. 

"At the end of the day, it's up to the school board and the other municipalities and elected officials in Broward County to make that decision. But it's not fair to the other people in the community to just constantly be reminded of such a terrible tragedy that occurred in Parkland."

Some families have toured the building to see where their loved ones were slaughtered, as did Vice President Kamala Harris and some members of Congress. 

Others, however, including Pollack, said it would have been too painful to see where his sister was innocently killed after Cruz stalked three floors of the classroom building. 

"I saw the footage of the shooting for the first time in December of 2023… and what I saw reminded me of what you would see in a movie or documentary about war," Pollack said. "It was just totally vile… to me, it's not something I wanted to walk through after seeing the footage of what occurred."

Pollack said that his sister Meadow was shot nine times by Cruz, who was armed with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle and multiple magazines. Pollack has since successfully advocated for ending a unanimous jury requirement in death penalty sentencing after a divided 9-3 jury spared the life of Cruz.

"You could just see in the video and the pictures that I saw that it's disgusting," Pollack said. "If you could compare it to what's going on in some places like Israel and Gaza, then you could do so because these kids were murdered by an AR-15. My sister was shot nine times, I watched it on camera. It was disgusting."

"In that building, there was blood everywhere. It was a scene that would be in a horror movie."

"I spoke to a law clerk that was working in a law firm, and he said that when he watched the footage of what happened he had to take a break as he was throwing up and crying. I mean, it was just totally disgusting and the inside of the building itself was blood all over the place. It was chaotic. It was something that you can't fathom unless you saw the footage, the pictures, or walked the building yourself."

"And that's why I think it's best that that building comes down, and we get a fresh start in the community, because the community deserves a fresh start."

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