Police did arrive on Feb. 14 to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in the midst of a mass school shooting that would leave 17 dead and several others injured, but the Sheriff’s deputies never went into the school where the armed shooter was because they were told not to, according to reports.
The armed school resource officer, Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, didn’t enter the school and neither did the other Broward County Sheriff’s deputies, Coral Springs sources recently told CNN.
The deputies reportedly remained behind their squad cars with their guns drawn.
Coral Springs police were troubled that the four Broward County Sheriff’s deputies didn’t go into the school, according to reports.
“Now, our sources near the Broward County Sheriff’s Department are telling us that the deputies who arrived at the scene of the shooting were told not to enter the school unless their body cameras were turned on, and then we found out that the deputies did not have body cameras so they did not enter the building or engage the shooter,” Fox News’ Laura Ingraham reported Monday.
Ingraham did not say who issued the order to not go into the school.
Not until Coral Springs officials arrived on the scene did police enter the school; they were accompanied by two New Broward County deputies and an officer from Sunrise, Florida.
Coral Springs officials say that Broward County officials are guilty of dereliction of duty.
On Feb. 15, the night following the mass school shooting, Coral Springs City Manager Mike Goodrum confronted Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
Goodrum was distraught that the Broward deputies didn’t enter the school while students inside could have been dying, a source familiar with the conversation told CNN.
“Given the horrific events of that day, emotions were running high and the sheriff and I had a heated moment the following evening. Sheriff Israel and I have spoken several times since and I can assure you that our departments have a good working relationship and the utmost respect for each other,” Goodrum said in a statement to CNN.
“The Coral Springs Police Department will speak on behalf of our officers and their response in that incident. We will not speak on behalf of Broward Sheriff’s deputies and their response to the incident,” Sgt. Carla Kmiotek, public information officer for the Coral Springs Police Department, said.
“Our police department has continued to work alongside the Broward Sheriff’s Office to assist in any investigation pertaining to this incident. The Coral Springs Police Department has a tremendous working relationship with the men and women of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, and while we are being transparent through this investigation, everyone should respect the process. There were countless deputies and officers who responded on that fateful day from multiple jurisdictions, whose actions were nothing short of heroic. As already reported, any actions or inactions that negatively affected the response will be investigated thoroughly, and the information will be released officially from the proper agency spokesperson,” the Coral Springs Police Department said in a statement.
On Thursday, Broward County Sheriff Israel stated that the video obtained from the school shooting showed Deputy Peterson outside the building where students were being shot for “upwards of four minutes.”
“What I saw was a deputy arrive … take up a position, and he never went in. Peterson should have went in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer,” Israel said at a news conference.
Peterson was suspended without pay and later resigned.
“I’m in shock and I’m outraged to no end that he could have made a difference in all this. It’s really disturbing that we had a law enforcement individual there specifically for this reason, and he did not engage. He did not do his job. It’s one of the most unbelievable things I’ve ever heard,” Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie said.