Florida Governor Rick Scott has ordered the state’s top law enforcement agency to conduct an independent investigation into the Broward Country Sheriff’s Department response to the deadly Valentine’s Day shooting at a Parkland high school, the governor’s office announced Sunday.
Gov. Scott’s request to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to investigate the matter follows a letter from Florida House Member Bill Hager (R) calling for Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to resign over his department’s response to the shooting, along with dozens of visits to suspect Nikolas Cruz – making the Sheriff “fully aware of the threat this individual [Cruz] presented to his community.”
— Bill Hager (@RepBillHager) February 24, 2018
BDSD visited Cruz’s home 23 times over a seven year period for emergencies including a “mentally ill person, ” “child/elderly abuse”, “domestic disturbance,” and “missing person.” according to
Controversy erupted in the aftermath of the shooting when it was revealed that a Broward County resource officer who was stationed at Stoneman Douglas High School never went in during the shooting – instead waiting outside pointing his gun at nothing.
The Resource Officer, Scot Peterson, resigned shortly after being suspended without pay – and drew harsh rebuke from President Trump, who called him a coward.
“But he certainly did a poor job. There’s no question about that. He was there for five minutes, for five minutes. That was during the entire shooting. He heard it right from the beginning. So he certainly did a poor job. But that’s a case where somebody was outside, they’re trained, they didn’t act properly or under pressure or they were a coward. It was a real shock to the police department.” –Trump
Conflicting reports have also emerged over whether three more Broward County Sheriff’s Deputies waited outside the High School while officers from neighboring Coral Springs Police Department (CSPD) arrived and entered the crime scene, according to a source on the CSPD who told CNN.
Some Coral Springs police were stunned and upset that the four original Broward County Sheriff’s deputies who were first on the scene did not appear to join them as they entered the school, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. It’s unclear whether the shooter was still in the building when they arrived. –CNN
The four Broward Sheriff’s deputies, including fired High School Resource Officer Scot Peterson, had their pistols drawn from behind the safety of their vehicles, and “not one of them had gone into the school,” according to shocked Coral Springs police.
Sheriff Scott Israel hit back in a letter to governor Rick Scott – noting that while Rep. Bill Hager’s letter says “The School Resource Officer and three Broward Sheriff Deputis were on campus at the time of the attack and chose to take cover themselves rather than stepping up to protect students,” Israel says “Only one law enforcement officer was ever on campus – at any time – during the attack,” while admitting that the Coral Springs PD entered first, and that “Unknown to the officers on the initial entry, video shows the killer had already fled the building over four minutes before they first entered.”
In other words, the officers on scene thought the shooting was still ongoing, which means the CPSD still thought they were risking their lives, while the Broward County Sheriffs Dept officers refused to go in. Israel also noted that Hagar’s quote of “39 visits” made by BCSD to the home of Nikolas Cruz (from CNN) was incorrect, when in fact they (only?) made 23 calls, and 18 visits.
#BREAKING: Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel claims that only 1 deputy was on the school campus during the attack.
Israel also says the claim that 39 prior visits to the shooter’s home are false. pic.twitter.com/GbnVHAtvzt
— Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸 (@RealSaavedra) February 25, 2018
Israel said his office will “fully cooperate with FDLE, as we believe in full transparency and accountability. This independent, outside review will ensure public confidence in the findings,” while insisting early Sunday that he’s not going anywhere.
“Of course I won’t resign,” the second-term sheriff told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Why would he do that? Israel wouldn’t be able to cruise around in the lambo…
Tfw you spend your money on a lamborghini instead of training to kill an active shooter pic.twitter.com/lIQnVSearT
— Rhodes (@irishskeptic) February 25, 2018