Following new disclosures that as many as five Broward County sheriff’s deputies waited outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while 17 students and faculty were murdered by a lone gunman, dozens of Republican lawmakers are calling for Gov. Rick Scott to suspend Sheriff Scott Israel while state law enforcement investigates the local police response.
Israel earlier claimed he had provided "amazing leadership" of the department. He claimed only one deputy, Scot Peterson, was on the scene during the active shooting Feb. 14 when Nikolas Cruz shot 31, wounding 14, including five with life-threatening injuries, in addition to killing 17. Peterson resigned last week rather than be fired.
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Scott has already ordered the state law-enforcement probe.
The revelations about the deputies refusing to enter the school building, along with a timeline that shows the agency had received tips that Cruz was a possible "school shooter in the making" and that law enforcement had other warnings and run-ins with the 19-year-old assailant, prompted dozens of state lawmakers to call for his suspension.
"The failures of Sheriff Israel and his deputies during and after the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (SDHS) on February 14, 2018, and their failures to intervene regarding Nikolas Jacob Cruz in the years, months, and days leading up to that shooting, are unacceptable and unforgivable," wrote House Speaker Richard Corcoran.