Gov. Rick Scott has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate law enforcement’s response to the Valentine’s Day mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
The Governor’s Office confirms that FDLE will respond immediately.
Questions have been raised in recent days about the response by Broward County Sheriff’s deputies the afternoon that authorities say 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz walked into the school with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and started shooting. Seventeen people were killed.
The school’s student resource officer, Scot Peterson, resigned Thursday after being suspended following reports that he stayed outside the school building despite protocol that says officers should enter the building and try to stop an incident when an active shooter is inside.
The sheriff’s office is also looking into claims made by responding Coral Springs Police Department officers that several deputies stayed outside the building instead of entering.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel responded to the claims in a statement released Saturday night.
“Detectives are investigating the claim from the Coral Springs Police Department that some deputies did not go into the school when they should have. Stop reporting it as a fact,” the statement said. “There is no confirmation, at this time, other deputies did not enter the school when they should have.”
The department also responded to a letter from state Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, the chairman of the Florida House of Justice Appropriations committee, asking Scott to remove Israel from his post as sheriff. Hager also referred to the number of times BSO deputies responded to calls from Cruz’s house but never didn’t recognize there might be problems.
Hager wrote to the governor that “the Sheriff was fully aware of the threat this individual presented to the community and chose to ignore it.”
Israel says he won’t resign and sent a letter to Scott claiming Hager’s letter was “reckless” and “riddled with factual errors, unsupported gossip, and falsehoods.”