Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate school shooting response
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WPEC) - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, at the request of Gov. Rick Scott, will investigate the police response to the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland.
The development comes on the heels of reports that more than one deputy waited outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as a gunman opened fire on students and teachers inside.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel called the claim "untrue" but planned to investigate the matter. Israel said the investigation has so far led to only one deputy being on campus at the time of the gunfire. Deputy Scot Peterson has since resigned after being suspended without pay last week pending an internal investigation. Israel said Peterson "never went in" to confront and possibly stop the attacker.
The suspect in the shooting is 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. He faces 17 counts of premeditated murder.
The Broward County Sheriff's Office is also facing criticism for how it handled some of the 18 tipster calls about Cruz. The tips were among a series of what authorities now describe as the clearest missed warning signs that Cruz, who had a history of disturbing behavior, posed a serious threat.
State Rep. Bill Hager (R-Boca Raton) is calling for Israel's resignation, citing "potential interagency breakdowns and miscommunications" and thus Israel's "neglect of duty and incompetence."
Israel called Hager's letter "riddled with factual errors, unsupported gossip, and falsehoods."
On Sunday, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, Richard Corcoran (R-Land O'Lakes) along with 73 other republican representatives wrote their own letter to Gov. Scott also asking for Sheriff Israel's removal.
After Gov. Scott announced he requested the FDLE investigation, Sheriff Israel said, “BSO will fully cooperate with FDLE, as we believe in full transparency and accountability. This independent, outside review will ensure public confidence in the findings."
The FDLE issued a statement on the pending investigation:
At the request of Governor Scott, FDLE will conduct a preliminary review of the law enforcement response. As in any review, agents will be conducting interviews and gathering documents. Every case is unique so we cannot provide a timeframe.