Sheriff 'disgusted' by deputy's inaction

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel says he was disgusted that one of this deputies did not enter Stoneman Douglas high school during the deadly shooting.

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 5:57 AM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 6:15 AM

[Breaking news update at 10:35 a.m. ET]

Appearing alongside her parents, Maddy Wilford, 17, thanked the police officers, EMTs and doctors who scrambled to save her life after the February 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Echoing the words of her mother, Missy Cantrell Wilford, Maddy also thanked those who supported and prayed for her as she recovered.

"All the love that's been passed around, I definitely wouldn't be here without it," said Maddy, who suffered chest, abdomen and arm injuries during the massacre.

[Original story published at 9:59 a.m. ET]

As the Broward County sheriff continues to face criticism for his department's actions before and after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, thousands of Floridians will be arriving in Tallahassee on Monday to demand more gun control.

It is the second time in recent days that protesters have converged on the Capitol to pressure lawmakers into taking action. About 100 students and their chaperones made the 450-mile bus trip from Parkland last week, meeting with lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott and staging a protest outside the state House of Representatives.

But where students last week sought conversations and lobbied for a variety of gun control and school safety measures, the group arriving Monday lists as one of its aims a permanent ban on assault-style rifles like the one used by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooter.

The "Rally in Tally" will be led by former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who is vying for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and is expected to draw 1,000 Floridians from across the state, according to a news release.

Sheriff cooperating

The rally will unfold as lawmakers, including Scott, demand a state investigation into the Broward County Sheriff's Office response to the deadly February 14 school shooting.

On Sunday, Scott asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to "immediately investigate the law enforcement response" to the shooting, according to a news release from his office.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said in a statement that his department "will fully cooperate" with the probe, "as we believe in full transparency and accountability."

Israel has been under growing pressure as state House Speaker Richard Corcoran, along with 73 other Republican state representatives, called on the governor to suspend Israel for "incompetence and neglect of duty" in a letter sent Sunday.

They said that he and his deputies had information about the shooter, yet failed to intervene "in the years, months, and days leading up to that shooting," which Corcoran described as "unacceptable and unforgivable."

"Sheriff Israel failed to maintain a culture of alertness, vigilance, and thoroughness amongst his deputies. ... As a result of Sheriff Israel's failures, students and teachers died," the letter said.

Amid calls for his suspension, Israel, a Democrat, said Sunday, "Of course I won't resign."

Law enforcement including the FBI and local authorities received warnings about Cruz before the attack, including one caller saying the eventual gunman could be a "school shooter in the making."

The sheriff's office said it received several calls related to Cruz in the past decade. Israel said investigators are looking into the handling of at least two calls that may have tipped off law enforcement about Cruz.

Read the transcript of the interview with Sheriff Israel

When questioned about red flags brought to law enforcement's attention, Israel said, "I can only take responsibility for what I knew about. I exercised my due diligence. I've given amazing leadership to this agency."

What happened during the shooting?

There have also been questions about how Broward County deputies responded during the critical moments of the massacre.

During the shooting, the armed school resource officer assigned to the school stayed outside the building where the shooting was taking place, authorities said. Scot Peterson took cover outside as bullets flew for 4 minutes and "never went in," Israel had said.

"I was disgusted. I was just demoralized with the performance of former deputy (Scot) Peterson," Israel said.

Peterson had received active-shooter training, according to a letter Israel had written in response to Florida state Rep. Bill Hager, who wrote a letter urging the governor to remove Israel from his post for his deputies' "unfathomable inaction" during the massacre.

Peterson resigned last week following his suspension.

Questions also have mounted over what happened during the shooting. Sources have previously said that Coral Springs police officers arrived at the site of the shooting and were surprised to find three sheriff's deputies, in addition to Peterson, had not entered the school.

Israel said his department is also looking into reports that the deputies didn't enter the school building during the shooting, but as of now, Peterson was the only officer that he was certain had been derelict.

"We will get to the truth, but at this point, one deputy was remiss, dereliction of duty, and he's now no longer with this agency. And that's Peterson," Israel said.

He added that his department's investigation indicates the Coral Springs officers didn't arrive until about 4 minutes after Cruz had left the campus.

A report on what Coral Springs officers observed is expected. Sources caution that surveillance video is currently being reviewed and official accounts could ultimately differ from recollections of officers on the scene.

Return to campus

As the investigations continue, Stoneman Douglas students returned to campus Sunday for a voluntary campus orientation. Grappling with trauma, some students and parents making their first emotional return to campus wore school T-shirts that read: "MSDStrong."

"It was really scary. I didn't know how I was going to feel when I went in and I saw the fence around the freshman building ... and all the windows were covered," sophomore Tanzil Philip said.

The building where the shooting occurred will remain closed. Armed deputies were on campus and will be on hand when students return to class Wednesday.

Philip said students met in the theater room, "and we just gave each other hugs."

Related: These are the victims of the Stoneman Douglas shooting

School officials are working with students who don't want to return to Stoneman Douglas, arranging for them to transfer.

Superintendent Robert Runcie said officials will be accommodating and take measures like adding counselors and service dogs in classrooms.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 300913

Reported Deaths: 5332
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41330845
Lake26364448
Allen17299290
Elkhart16665212
St. Joseph16319220
Hamilton12459164
Vanderburgh9428112
Tippecanoe826727
Porter791279
Johnson6139164
Hendricks5807154
Vigo574474
Monroe525247
Clark495374
Delaware4789103
Madison4760119
LaPorte446894
Kosciusko446139
Howard325575
Warrick316072
Floyd306177
Bartholomew303262
Wayne295261
Cass293431
Marshall289944
Grant258747
Noble246846
Hancock243749
Henry237136
Boone235154
Dubois230430
Dearborn208829
Jackson206033
Morgan200643
Knox178017
Gibson177022
Clinton174920
Shelby174554
Lawrence171646
DeKalb171229
Adams165219
Miami155114
Wabash153018
Daviess152243
Fayette145233
Steuben141113
Jasper138311
Harrison137624
LaGrange136629
Montgomery131226
Whitley129910
Ripley123714
Decatur123542
Huntington122310
Posey118913
Putnam118326
Wells118327
Randolph117819
White117421
Clay115621
Jefferson114214
Greene100253
Scott99818
Jay95012
Starke89221
Sullivan86615
Fulton81117
Perry80921
Jennings80514
Spencer8047
Fountain7378
Washington7176
Carroll66813
Franklin65925
Orange65728
Vermillion5832
Owen5816
Parke5416
Newton54012
Tipton53726
Rush5216
Blackford51211
Pike50218
Pulaski36810
Martin3485
Brown3263
Benton3251
Crawford2781
Union2621
Switzerland2473
Warren2352
Ohio2257
Unassigned0265

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 363304

Reported Deaths: 6020
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin49267665
Cuyahoga35214736
Hamilton29462371
Montgomery19636225
Butler14472144
Lucas14033409
Summit12962310
Stark8529197
Warren798975
Mahoning7068299
Lake662766
Lorain623697
Clermont563946
Delaware540335
Licking535875
Fairfield523763
Trumbull5159144
Greene510563
Clark501064
Allen460685
Marion457751
Wood4394107
Medina428654
Miami416465
Pickaway396448
Columbiana339597
Portage334471
Tuscarawas317557
Wayne314993
Richland306732
Mercer284737
Ross239259
Hancock232736
Muskingum231910
Auglaize223230
Putnam221449
Erie217165
Darke217058
Ashtabula215753
Geauga197351
Scioto193615
Union18658
Lawrence185436
Shelby184815
Athens18454
Seneca173118
Belmont158529
Madison156218
Sandusky152327
Preble148421
Huron147518
Defiance137921
Holmes137739
Logan123613
Knox122518
Fulton122025
Crawford119116
Ottawa118930
Washington116427
Clinton103414
Ashland102722
Williams10238
Jefferson10124
Highland99517
Henry98422
Brown9644
Champaign9345
Jackson90312
Van Wert8976
Fayette89217
Hardin86118
Morrow8552
Guernsey83313
Coshocton81413
Perry77012
Adams75012
Pike7261
Wyandot70516
Gallia70413
Paulding62710
Hocking61011
Noble59722
Carroll44310
Meigs37612
Monroe31021
Morgan2395
Vinton2105
Harrison1913
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Scattered Clouds
34° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 34°
Angola
Broken Clouds
34° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 28°
Huntington
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 36°
Decatur
Overcast
37° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 33°
Van Wert
Overcast
37° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 33°
Snow/Rain Showers Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events