Florida school shooting: Armed officer 'did not confront killer'

Saul Bowman
February 24, 2018

The Florida community has grappled with recent news that Deputy Scot Peterson did nothing to stop suspect Nikolas Cruz on campus, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Thursday.

Asked what Peterson should have done, Sheriff Israel said: "Went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer".

Samantha Fuentes, an 18-year-old senior at Stoneman Douglas High who was shot in both legs, said she never saw Peterson during the "30 minutes" that passed before SWAT officers arrived at the first-floor classroom in which she and other students had been taking a class.

The president had invited the teen survivors of school violence and parents of murdered children in a show of his resolve against gun violence in the wake of last week's shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and in past years at schools in CT and Colorado. The Broward County Sheriff's Office, which is leading the shooting investigation, also has not explained why the video was on tape delay. Israel said of his feelings after learning Peterson did not enter the building.

After speaking with the internal affairs department, Israel made a decision to put the deputies on restrictive duty while his office investigates "whether or not they could have done more, or should have done more", he said. "There are no words". The sheriff also acknowledged that his office received 23 calls related to the suspect going back a decade, including one past year that said he was collecting knives and guns, but may not have adequately followed up.

"I don't think I'll be going up against them", Mr Trump said of the gun lobby.

"I met with one that was grazed with a bullet ... she has a hole in her arm and a bruise from her shoulder to her elbow that looks like somebody whacked her with a bat and she's like, 'I'm here because we need to get things ready", Fusco said. With this, Paterson resigned on Thursday after Israel suspended him without pay. Although police officers were at the school making sure everyone stayed safe, students say they were still scared.

Students who survived the shooting by alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz have called for gun control while others have proposed better protecting schools through a measures including having teachers carry concealed weapons or adding more armed security guards. But the National Rifle Association (NRA) and many Republicans have resisted those calls.

Scott's plan creates a "violent threat restraining order" allowing a court to prevent a violent person from having a gun when family member of law enforcement officers present evidence of a threat. "When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones, it just puts our students in far more danger".

The superintendent of Johnston County Public Schools in North Carolina issued a letter last week saying the system has applied for a grant to place 12 more school resource officers in schools throughout the district.

"Somebody would say, 'He's on the second floor, ' and we had guys on the second floor saying, 'We're on the second floor, we don't see him, ' " Pustizzi told the Sun Sentinel.

Earlier this week President Trump said arming school teachers could prevent school shootings.

He was armed. He was in uniform, ' Israel said.

Peterson was also nominated for Parkland deputy of the year in 2017, an internal memo from the sheriff's office dated March 27, 2017, shows.

Corcoran said the news about the resource officer's failure to respond did not dissuade him from moving ahead with what he was calling the "marshal" plan to let local law-enforcement officials train and deputize someone at the school who would be authorized to carry a gun.

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