Report: Other deputies waited outside during Parkland shooting

By Allen Cone  |  Feb. 24, 2018 at 10:51 AM
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Feb. 24 (UPI) -- At least two additional deputies waited outside a Florida high school during a shooting last week, two nearby city police officers told the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

On Thursday, another deputy, assigned to guard the school, resigned after being suspended for failing to enter a three-story building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

On Friday, Sheriff Scott Israel told the South Florida Sun Sentinel his office is investigating the new claims from Coral Springs Police officers.

At least three officers, including the resigned School Resource Officer Scot Peterson, didn't attempt to find the killer, Coral Springs Police told Israel.

Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student, is charged with killing 17 people on Feb. 14 near the end of the school day.

Israel said his office plans to interview the Coral Springs officers who made the allegations.

"If our investigation shows that our deputies made no mistakes or did things right, or it's not corroborated, there will be no issue," Israel said.

"If we find out, as we did with Peterson, that our deputies made mistakes and didn't go in, I'll handle it like I always have. I'll handle any violations of policy or procedures or whatever accordingly."

On Thursday at a news conference, Israel said Peterson should have "went in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer."

In a statement late Friday, the Coral Springs Police Department said it hasn't officially commented about the allegations.

"Any actions or inactions that negatively affected the response will be investigated thoroughly, and the information will be released officially," Sgt. Carla Kmiotek said in a statement. "There were countless deputies and officers who responded on that fateful day from multiple jurisdictions, whose actions were nothing short of heroic."

The Sheriff's Office is also investigating two other deputies on whether they mishandled warnings about Cruz months before the shooting.

In addition, the FBI has admitted it failed to investigate similar claims. The Florida Department of Children & Families concluded that Cruz was no risk to himself or others.

Officials told U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee staff on Friday that the FBI received tips in September 2017 and this January.

They received a tip that Cruz would be a possible "school shooter" last September.

In a tip on Jan. 5, a woman who knew Cruz said she was worried Cruz would carry out a shooting at a school. She said he exhibited a pattern of erratic and dangerous behavior, which included pulling a rifle on his mother, stealing her money after her November death to buy rifles and saying several times he'd like to kill people.

On Friday, the Miami Herald obtained a transcript of the 13-minute call, in which a woman said Cruz had violent outbursts and "the mental capacity of a 12- to 14-year-old."

"Something is going to happen," she said. "He's going to explode."

Also Friday, the state attorney's office subpoenaed Cruz-related records from the Broward County school district and health records from Broward Health, Henderson Mental Health Services and Jerome Golden Center.

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