April 12 (UPI) — A teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was arrested this week after leaving a loaded gun in a public restroom — that was later fired by a drunk homeless man.
Sean Simpson, a chemistry teacher at the Parkland, Fla., high school where 17 people were shot dead in February, said he inadvertently left the firearm at a restroom at a nearby beach Sunday.
Officials said an intoxicated homeless man found and fired the Glock 9 mm handgun before Simpson retrieved it.
Simpson, 43, was charged with failing to safely store a firearm, a second-degree misdemeanor, and the transient was charged with trespassing and firing a weapon while intoxicated, police records show.
Wednesday, MSD gunman Nikolas Cruz offered in court to donate money left to him by his late mother’s estate into a fund for the shooting victims.
Defense attorney Melisa McNeill asked the court to disperse the money right away.
“Mr. Cruz does not want those funds, whatever money that he is entitled to,” McNeill said.
“He would like that money donated to an organization that the victims’ family believes would be able to facilitate healing in our community or an opportunity to educate our community about the issues that have ripened over the last four or five months.”
Public defender Howard Finkelstein told Broward County Judge Elizabeth Scherer to let the funds “go to those who have been hurt.”
This month, MSD newspaper The Eagle Eye issued a special memorial edition that features all 17 people who died in the Feb. 14 attack.
Cruz is believed to have hundreds of thousands of dollars in inheritance money.
Cruz, dressed in a prison jumpsuit and shackles, spent the hearing with his head lowered.
The Broward County Public Defender’s Office has said Cruz is willing to plead guilty to avoid a death sentence. Prosecutors, though, have rejected the proposal.
“The state of Florida is not allowing Mr. Cruz to choose his own punishment for the murder of 17 people,” prosecutor Shari Tate said.