Kevin Whiteley, DCNF
Prior to being the cop who “did nothing” to stop the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting Feb. 14, the Florida officer was honored as school cop of the year with stellar performance reviews.
Scot Peterson was suspended without pay before resigning in the wake of the shooting, which claimed 17 lives. In performance reviews, Broward County Sheriff’s Office described Peterson as an officer who always took “initiative” in solving the high school’s problems, according to the Miami Herald.
Peterson’s failure is just one of many local, state and federal-law-enforcement breakdowns that allowed the shooter to kill so many. The FBI was warned in January Cruz was likely to carry out an attack, but the bureau failed to alert local authorities. Sheriff Scott Israel’s deputies visited Cruz’s home 39 times over the course of seven years. Cruz’s host parents warned authorities he’d “used a gun against people before” and “has put the gun to others’ heads in the past.” The school also requested a threat assessment of Cruz in 2017.
Cruz has a long history of alleged abuse to his adoptive mother, according to the New York Post. Cruz threw chairs, a dog bowl and cups at his mother, Lynda Cruz, who died from pneumonia last November. Cruz has at least 30 reports of domestic violence and destructive behavior since 2011, according to CNN.
Lynda called the police multiple times to report her son’s erratic demeanor. She told the Broward County Sheriff deputies her 18-year-old son began “cutting his arms … to get attention” and wanted to acquire a gun. A September 2016 report labeled Cruz as “emotionally handicapped.” However, Cruz passed a background check and legally bought an AR-15 from Sunrise Tactical Supply in Coral Springs, Fla., in 2017.
“It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “We see the tragic consequences of those failures.”
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