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Massive Law Enforcement Failures in Florida Shooting: Local and FBI

27

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is facing growing calls to resign for what some lawmakers in Florida say was his dereliction of duty in the case of 17 students and staffers just killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Why?

Apparently, it may not have been just one deputy who hid from the shooter while the kids were getting killed. Newly released records show it was actually four.

And Israel leads this department.

He was grilled on CNN recently about this fact:

The New York Post has more:

Not one but four sheriff’s deputies hid behind cars instead of storming Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland, Fla., during Wednesday’s school shooting, police claimed Friday — as newly released records revealed the Broward County Sheriff’s Office had received at least 18 calls about the troubled teen over the past decade.

Sources from Coral Springs, Fla., Police Department tell CNN that when its officers arrived on the scene Wednesday, they were shocked to find three Broward County Sheriff’s deputies behind their cars with weapons drawn.

The school’s armed resource officer, Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, was also outside. He resigned on Thursday after his failure to act was publicly revealed.

The Coral Springs cops entered the building to engage the shooter on their own, before other Broward County deputies arrived, two of whom joined the police inside, the sources said.

It was unclear whether the shooter was still inside at the time, CNN reported.

Coral Springs City Manager Mike Goodrum confronted Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel during a vigil for victims the next day, saying students could have been dying in the school while the deputies held back.

The next day, Coral Springs Police Chief Tony Pustizzi wrote in an internal e-mail that “another agency has given the impression that it had provided the majority of the rescue efforts.”

“Please know that this issue will be addressed, and the truth will come out in time,” he wrote.

In an official statement Friday, the police department said only that “any actions or inactions that negatively affected the response will be investigated.”

News of the deputies’ apparent inaction came after the sheriff’s office released records showing how many times it had received alarming reports about Cruz, 19, over the years — including two that specifically warned he was a potential school shooter.

The records show that a neighbor called in February 2016 to report that Cruz “planned to shoot up the school” and had posted photos to Instagram of himself posing with guns.

The information was passed on to Peterson, but it was not clear what, if anything, he did with it.

Another person phoned the sheriff’s office in November last year to say the teen was stockpiling guns and knives and warn that “he could be a school shooter in the making,” the records show.

But the caller was told to contact the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office instead because Cruz had moved out of Broward, according to the records.

In September 2016, a peer counselor told Peterson that Cruz had tried to kill himself by drinking gasoline, was cutting himself, possessed hate symbols and expressed a desire to buy a gun “for hunting.”

This time, Peterson did make a report, but a mental-health worker determined Cruz didn’t meet the state’s criteria for involuntary commitment to a psychiatric facility, the records show.

Cruz stayed at the school for another five months before he was transferred out.

And that’s not all.

Apparently, a tipster phoned to the FBI on January 5 that she had a bad feeling about Nikolas Cruz, the shooter — that she just knew he was going to explode.

From the New York Times:

“I know he’s going to explode,” a woman who knew Mr. Cruz said on the F.B.I.’s tip line on Jan. 5. Her big worry was that he might resort to slipping “into a school and just shooting the palce up.” Forty days later, Mr. Cruz is accused of doing just that, barging into his former high school in Parkland, Fla., and shooting 17 people to death.

And, from the Sun-Sentinel:

The FBI tipster whose call to the agency last month was ignored warned an employee that she was concerned about Nikolas Cruz “getting into a school and just shooting the place up,” according to a transcript of the call obtained by the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The caller, whose name is removed from the transcript, said she was worried that Cruz was “going to explode.” The woman spoke with an FBI employee for more than 13 minutes on Jan. 5 and said she also alerted local authorities about him.

“I just want someone to know about this so they can look into it,” the woman said. “I just know I have a clear conscience if he takes off and…just starts shooting places up.”

Cruz is accused of killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14.

 

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