Sheriff says only one deputy at fault in Florida school shooting

From Reuters - February 25, 2018

(Reuters) - Only one sheriffs deputy failed to stop the gunman who killed 17 people at a Florida high school, the Broward County sheriff said on Sunday, dismissing reports that other deputies did not enter the school during the attack as unverified.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel also said his department acted properly in at least 16 of the 18 calls it received before the massacre, warning that Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old suspect, was dangerous.

Israel rejected a call for his resignation from a state legislator and defended his department on the CNN program State of the Union on Sunday from criticism that deputies missed warning signs about Cruz, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Governor Rick Scott on Sunday asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the law enforcement response to the shooting, his office said in a statement, adding that the department would begin the probe immediately.

Authorities accuse Cruz of opening fire with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle on Feb. 14, killing 14 students and three faculty members.

The shooting reignited an intense debate about gun safety laws, with Stoneman students emerging as national voices calling for gun control. They have challenged the National Rifle Association, a politically powerful defender of the U.S. constitutional right to bear arms.

Israel has acknowledged that an armed deputy assigned to the school, Scot Pederson, remained outside during the seven minutes that Cruz was inside the school.


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