Meadow Pollack ‘was a kind soul…she was always a person that would light up a room.”
That is how Andrew Pollack, her father, remembers his beautiful daughter who was planning to graduate high school and making plans to one day attend law school.
It was February 14, 2018 when Nicholas Cruz, 19, a former student who had been expelled from the school, walked into the halls with his AR-15-style rifle killing anyone in his way. Cruz had been expelled for disciplinary behavior from the high school but as investigators, and Pollack, discovered Cruz’s issues went far beyond simple discipline. In fact, he was known as a student with violent tendencies, paranoia, psychosis and had even expressed his desire to kill people to numerous students at various schools he was bounced in and out of.
“Parents, it’s your responsibility where your children go to school, it’s not the president’s, it’s not your governor or your senator,” Andrew Pollack
Pollack lives with the knowledge everyday of his life, he said. He described the last moments of his daughter’s life for the first time publicly on The Sara Carter Show and told me that all he wants is to give parents the tools necessary to save their own children. Her actions went far beyond what is known publicly about that fateful day and in fact, a school video monitoring system captured the last moments of her life. She died trying to save a student, Cara [Loughran], in the same hallway she was trapped in. She had already been shot four times but she crawled her way to Cara and tried to use her body as a shield when Cruz fired multiple shots killing them both, Pollack described.
“A lot of people don’t know that Meadow was shot, it’s so hard for me to talk about, but you know Meadow was shot first four times… four times she was shot,” said Pollack. “First on the third floor, the teacher let Meadow out into the hallway. She heard the fire alarm. I got really unlucky with everything.”
“Ninety rounds went off in that building and it shook the building and the fire alarm went off from this smoke, it exhausts when you shoot a weapon. Any gun expels, you know, fumes and it set off the fire alarm, so the teacher, they heard ninety rounds and the teacher let Meadow out into the hallway even hearing rounds go off and then, so Meadow got shot down the hallway four, five times and then the teacher shut the door and then Meadow couldn’t get back in the classroom,” said Pollack. “She locked Meadow out and then Meadow crawled over to another doorway where there was another student there, Cara, and Meadow tried to shield her even though she was shot and then he came down the hallway and shot her another four times and the bullets went through my daughter and killed Cara underneath her. This is what I live with, you know.”
“It was brutal. Not many people know it but I know that because there was cameras in the hallway and they told me that detectives who watched it,” he said. “They couldn’t believe it.”
Pollack has spent the past two years fighting back and hoping to find solutions that will save other children from the same fate as his daughter. One of those solutions is a project with the security company IntraLogic Solutions. The system would link law enforcement agencies to schools and gives them access to an intercom system if a school shooter or other emergency situation occurs. Schools can apply for a grant to install the system, he said. The system would allow law enforcement to have access to a full interactive map of the floor plans and live photos of classrooms will pop up in command centers, he said.
“She was my youngest and my only daughter and you know there’s not a second that goes by that I don’t think about her, you know, wrapped around her finger, but she was the toughest… she was the most like me,” he said. “I consider myself pretty tough, just tough and calloused from growing up in New York and Meadow she took after me the most even more than my two sons. If she wanted something in life, she knew how to get it and there was nothing that was gonna stop her and she was inspiring to go to law school. She was another two and a half months she would have been graduating and that never happened.”
Pollack warned that parents should never be complacent and should ask their schools what programs and policies are in place in case of an active shooter or other emergency situation.
“They shouldn’t think that it can’t happen to them,” he said. “You know, everyone thinks if you ask any parent that had a murdered child, they would think it couldn’t happen to them. Meadow would want every parent to know that it’s possible. And you shouldn’t put your child in an unsafe situation at these schools, not knowing what’s going on and that’s what I worked on with getting this out and exposing it.”
“Parents, it’s your responsibility where your children go to school, it’s not the president’s, it’s not your governor or your senator,” he said. “You decide where you put your child, and, Meadow would want you putting your child in a school that takes security serious, education, and not having those type of kids. Those type of kids should be in special programs where they could be supervised, not in schools walking the hallways.”