Florida shooting: More cops stayed outside school as kids massacred

Carla Harmon
February 25, 2018

Officials announced Thursday that Peterson never went inside to engage the gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while the shooting that killed 17 was underway. CNN is now reporting that three other sheriff's deputies who were among the first to arrive did not enter either.

The sheriff told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Friday that his office is investigating the allegations and if they find "that our deputies made mistakes and didn't go in, I'll handle it like I always have".

Deputy Scott Peterson was initially the only law enforcement officer present on February 14 when the rampage started, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.

"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.

The sources indicate other Broward County deputies arrived on scene, and two of those new arrivals joined with Coral Springs officers and entered the building.

Jeff Bell, president of Broward County Sheriff's Deputies Association, said his union is representing the two officers, and doesn't foresee any major problems with their handling of the calls.

According to ABC News affiliate Local 10 News, about 130 Coral Springs officers responded and approximately 40 of those officers went into the building.

Israel said two other deputies were placed on restrictive administrative assignment, stemming from their response to numerous calls for service and reports received by the sheriff's department pertaining to Cruz during the past 10 years.

He then entered into the school building, where students had barricaded themselves into a classroom, having to "negotiate with [them] to come out" after sliding his ID badge under the door. Peterson chose to resign, he said.

Israel said his account of Peterson's actions was based on video footage, witness statements and an interview with Peterson himself.

"Our main goal at this point, absent of helping these families heal and keeping our schools safe, is making sure this killer receives the justice he deserves", Israel previously said. In a summary of the call, the sheriff's office said the caller, located in MA, anxious that Cruz "will kill himself one day and believes he could be a school shooter in the making". "We will not speak on behalf of Broward Sheriff's deputies and their response to the incident".

When he was asked what Peterson should have done when gunfire broke out at the school, Israel said the resource officer should have gone into the building.

Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said at a news conference today that Peterson's actions were "outrageous" and "inexcusable", adding, "I'll leave it at that".

"I'm thinking, you know, this is a real one".

Other reports by iNewsToday