A simple act of kindness in the midst of tragedy — we need more of this in our world. When Jordana Judson, 23, heard that her friend Meadow Pollack was one of the fatalities from Florida’s horrific school shooting, she rushed to LaGuardia Airport, headed for Parkland to attend the funeral. Held together by a gritty determination to pay her final respects to the 18-year-old, it all came crashing in as she exited her cab at the airport — Judson began weeping uncontrollably.
Seeing the girl crying, Troopers Robert Troy and Thomas Karasinski asked if she required some help. Judson told the officers that her friend had been caught up in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school and that she needed help getting a ticket back to Florida. The officers ushered the distraught girl into the airport, where a JetBlue employee informed the group that a ticket would set the girl back $700 — far more than she could afford.
“I look up, and the state troopers are standing there, and they’re both handing over their credit cards,” Judson said of the incredible moment. “I’m telling them that they don’t have to do this. This is crazy. They said: ‘It’s already done. We want you to be home with their families. This is a tough time’.'”
“The sense of just being there for your family and friends, you want to be there for them. You’re going to go through anything to get there,” Judson added.
“I know. I have five little sisters. If that was one of them, I’d want someone to help them out,” Troy said of Judson, as reported by NBC News. “It was a sigh of relief. She was more in shock that we paid for her ticket.”
Troy added that he felt “it was the right thing to do.” He said he and Karasinski “both agreed if it was anybody in our family that was trying to get down there that we would do anything that we could to try to help.”
State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II issued a statement in response to the story, saying: “As members of the State Police and law enforcement, we take an oath to protect and serve. We also instill in our members the importance of acting with respect and empathy for the people they encounter.”
Judson attended Pollack’s emotional funeral on Friday.
“Meadow’s family has been a second family to us and always will be. Meadow was a ray of sunshine, passionate and beautiful in every way,” Judson said in a Facebook post praising the officers for their amazing act of kindness.
I love you always my sweet, beautiful Princess Meadow. Forever family and forever a part of me.
Still horrified by the sheer savagery of the shooting rampage, Judson will be forever grateful for such a beautiful moment of kindness and compassion from these dedicated officers.
“I can’t express the gratitude I have for these two men enough. Spread love, be kind to everyone and always pay it forward. I am so thankful to be with my family at this time as Florida will always be my home,” the girl explained.
“Meadow will forever be in my heart, as will Trooper Troy, Trooper Karasinski and the 16 other victims taken from us too soon.”
Meadow’s devastated father Andrew gave an emotional address at his daughter’s funeral, held at Temple K’ol Tikvah in Parkland.
“You killed my kid. ‘My kid is dead’ goes through my head all day and all night. I keep hearing it over and over,” her dad bellowed to the congregation, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
“This is just unimaginable to think I will never see my princess again,” he added. “This piece of s*** killed my kid, and I couldn’t do anything about it. That’s never happened to me in my life. I’m always able to protect my family in any situation.”
“I always looked out for her,” said her brother, Hunter. “I wanted to be the over-supportive brother my whole life and I feel like I failed. So all I can do is hope that [her shooter] gets what he deserves.”
Meadow’s boyfriend, Brandon Schoengrund, said she was “a partner, a teammate.”
“I knew God blessed me with angel I would love for the rest of my life,” he added.
The family with which gunman Nikolas Cruz lived said that while they knew he owned guns, they had no idea he was capable of such murderous actions. James and Kimberly Snead told CNN they knew Cruz was depressed after losing his adoptive mother to pneumonia last year, but they didn’t see him as a danger to others.
“To me, the depression was more stemmed from loss — losing his mother, not from all the things they said about him being bullied, or by — things that happened in school” Kimberly said, adding that with the gun safe, “everything’d be locked up, it really didn’t concern me.”