Coral Springs cops who responded to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School say several Broward sheriff’s deputies waited outside rather than rush in as the killer was gunning down students, according to reports.
The allegations emerged a day after veteran Broward deputy Scot Peterson resigned under fire for failing to enter the school during the Valentine’s Day shooting. President Trump on Friday said Peterson, who was assigned to guard the school, “did a poor job.”
The Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that according to police sources at least three Broward deputies, including Peterson, waited outside. The Broward Sheriff’s Office said Friday it is investigating the Coral Springs officer's claims.
The allegations add to a series of failures that have emerged since 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and staff, and wounded 16. Cruz was arrested and charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
Two additional Broward deputies are also under investigation over whether they mishandled warnings about Cruz in the months leading up to the shooting. The FBI has admitted it failed to investigate similar claims, and Florida child welfare agency looked into concerns about Cruz, but concluded he wasn’t a risk to himself or others.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told the Sun-Sentinel that three Coral Springs officers said one or more sheriff’s deputies did not go into the school building when they should have, and their concerns were relayed to the sheriff’s office by the Coral Springs police chief.
“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.”
At a news conference Thursday, Israel said Peterson should have “went in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer.” Video footage showed Peterson did none of that, Israel said.
Coral Springs city manager Mike Goodrum angrily confronted Israel about the deputies’ response the day after the shooting, the Sun-Sentinel reported, citing sources.
Goodrum would only say he and Israel had a “heated discussion.”
The Coral Springs Police Department issued a statement late Friday that said, “There were countless deputies and officers who responded on that fateful day from multiple jurisdictions, whose actions were nothing short of heroic."