Jordan Judson, 23, had graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and said her family was close with the family of Meadow Pollack, who was among the 17 people killed on Wednesday.
She said she showed up at LaGuardia Airport in New York and burst into tears, and was helped by two state troopers, Robert Troy and Thomas Karasinski.
Judson tried to buy a plane ticket to Florida, but found that it would cost nearly $700, which she couldn’t afford. She tried to get a bereavement discount for the ticket or otherwise lower the price, but was unsuccessful.
The two troopers then decided to step in and pay for Judson’s ticket.
“I look up, and the state troopers are standing there, and they’re both handing over their credit cards,” Judson said. “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.'”
“It was very heartwarming. It made my heart full and heavy at the same time,” she added.
Troy told NBC News that he thought “it was the right thing to do.”
“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,” Troy said.
“I know. I have five little sisters. If that was one of them, I’d want someone to help them out,” he continued.
Judson said she was thankful to be able to mourn Pollack with her family in Florida and help her brother, who is close with Pollack’s brother.
Services are now being held for the 17 victims of the shooting. Student survivors of the shooting have demanded that action on gun control be taken in the wake of the violence.