I found this story particularly disturbing for some reason. James and Kimberly Snead are the couple who allowed the killer in the Parkland school shooting to move into their home after his mother passed away, roughly ten weeks before the attack. Now, after most of the stories from that tragedy have been told and their world was turned upside down, two families of victims of the shooting are suing the Sneads. (LA Times)
The Sneads, who say they felt sorry for their son’s 19-year-old friend after he was left orphaned, have already been named as defendants in two civil lawsuits connected to the Feb. 14 attack at the Parkland school.
One is a wrongful death claim filed by the estate of 18-year-old Meadow Pollack. The other is a negligence complaint filed by the parents of Anthony Borges, the 15-year-old who survived five bullet wounds.
The Sneads anticipate they will be named in more lawsuits in the coming weeks and months. They say they fear the litigation will rapidly drive them into bankruptcy and they don’t have the money to even hire an attorney to defend them.
“We’re like many other families in America today. We live paycheck to paycheck,” James Snead said in an interview Thursday.
The linked article has a fairly complete summary of what’s publicly known about the Snead’s history with the shooter. They’d only taken him in less than three months before the attack. Though lots of people had known about problems at the shooter’s home when he lived with his mother and had noticed many red flags, the Sneads insist that nobody told them anything other than the fact that the shooter had been depressed about his mother’s passing and had been in some fights at school.
As far as the social media postings, the Sneads are apparently not technically savvy. They knew the shooter had guns and had asked permission to bring them to the home, but Mr. Snead insisted he had to have a locked gun safe to keep them in, which he did. And the shooter apparently managed to stay on his best behavior at the house.
Putting myself in their position, it just seems a bit unfair that people are piling on to sue them and drive them into bankruptcy. It’s not as if the other families are going to get any money out of them. They rent the house and have very little in the way of savings. Some of the families are suing the estate of the shooter’s mother which I suppose is reasonable enough. They’re also suing the Sheriff who froze up at the scene of the crime. Before long they expect to sue the school and pretty much everyone else in the state government.
But why sue the Sneads? They took in a kid they perceived as being in crisis (as well as being a friend of their own son) who had just been left orphaned. Sure, he turned out to be a monster, but they were still only just getting to know him. This doesn’t really sound like justice to me.