A life-long friend of the Pollack family, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow was one of 17 people killed in the Parkland, Fla. school shooting last week, revealed that two New York state troopers who saw her “hysterically crying” at LaGuardia Airport as she tried to get a flight to her friend’s funeral paid for that flight in full.
Jordana Judson, 23, told NBC News that New York state troopers Robert Troy and Thomas Karasinski approached her at the airport to ask if she was okay, seeing her in “tears and very upset.”
Judson heard about the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and of the death of her friend. She said the Pollack family was like “our second family our whole lives” and that she broke down as soon as she got out of the car at the airport.
She said that she asked for help finding where to buy a ticket to Florida and the troopers pointed her in the right direction. When she learned that a one-way JetBlue flight would cost $700, she tried to get a discount and could not. She also had to make a decision quickly or else she’d lose the seat to someone else.
Remarkably, the troopers pulled out their credit cards and paid for Judson’s flight.
“I look up, and the state troopers are standing there, and they’re both handing over their credit cards,” Judson told NBC. “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.'”
Judson later tweeted a thank you to the troopers for their selflessness and a remembrance of her friend, Meadow.
“Thank you @NBCNews for covering my story, Trooper Troy and Trooper Karasinski for this selfless act and Princess Meadow for watching over me. Spread love, be kind and pay it forward. Honored to call both New York & Parkland, FL my home. #NeverAgainMSD,” she said.
More than 1,000 mourners including Gov. Rick Scott attended the funeral at Temple K’ol Tikvah last week and witnessed Meadow Pollack’s father Andrew looking down at the plain pine coffin of his daughter before telling the crowd, “I am very angry and upset about what transpired.”
“You killed my kid!” he yelled, referring to Nikolas Cruz, who is accused of gunning down Meadow Pollack, 13 other Marjory Stoneman Douglas students, the athletic director, a coach and a geography teacher on Wednesday. “My kid is dead. It goes through my head all day and all night. I keep hearing it. This is just unimaginable that I will never see my princess again.”
He briefly paused as mourners, punched by the rawness of his words, began to wail.
“I have always been able to protect my family,” he said. “Our kids should be safe but my princess wasn’t safe.”
Hunter Pollack, 29, said he had always been overprotective of his younger sister, who had been planning to attend Lynn University in Boca Raton.
“I feel like I failed,” he said. “I hope (Cruz) gets what he deserves. I know he would if me and my family got hold of him.”
Others described a young woman who was “beautiful inside and out,” who loved to hug and smile. Rabbi Bradd Boxman urged mourners to do an act of kindness in Meadow’s memory.
“We must carry Meadow’s love forward and not let it die in a pine wood box,” Boxman said.
Meadow Pollack was buried at Star of David Memorial Gardens Cemetery and Funeral Chapel, North Lauderdale, Fla. on Feb. 16.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.