Florida Sentinel publishes exhaustive Parkland report: Sheriff’s office ‘cost children their lives’

Neetu Chandak, DCNF

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A report released Friday showed authorities and school officials either failed to act or were unclear about procedures when confronting the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter on Feb. 14.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel released a minute-by-minute rundown of the Parkland shooting in, “Unprepared and Overwhelmed.” The Sentinel acknowledged many teachers and police officers were “heroic,” but Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO) were unprepared.

The shooting left 17 people dead.

“A gunman with an AR-15 fired the bullets, but a series of blunder, bad policies, sketchy training and poor leadership helped him succeed,” the Sentinel wrote.

There were three separate instances of school monitors failing to lockdown the school and calling for a “Code Red,” an indicator for people to hide in classrooms. Suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz was spotted on campus at 2:19 p.m., but a Code Red was not called until 2:24 p.m.


Andrew Medina first saw Cruz walk through unguarded gates. Medina had previously predicted Cruz would shoot up the school, the Sentinel reported.

David Taylor was another school monitor who followed Cruz on the first floor before turning around at 2:21 p.m. Taylor told investigators he wanted to confront Cruz on the second floor of the building, but he hid in a janitor’s closet when the first shots were fired, according to the Sentinel.

Monitor Aaron Feis reportedly did not call a Code Red despite a ninth grader warning him about a person with a gun.

“You’d better get out of here,” Cruz allegedly told the freshman. “Things are gonna start getting messy.”

Students and staff went in the hallways instead of following Code Red procedures when the fire alarm went off.

The district also failed to mandate classrooms to have “hard corners,” or places to be out of sight, after security experts advised teachers to do so. Only two teachers in the building designated hard corners in their classrooms.

Deputy Scot Peterson, the school’s resource officer, was the only armed person on campus who failed to confront the shooter. Peterson ordered the school to go on lockdown at 2:25 p.m., but did not ask deputies to head toward the building. He also remained in a sheltered location for 48 minutes.

BSO deputies, unlike Coral Springs officers who arrived later, did not immediately confront the shooter when on campus.

“Basically, what we’re trained to do is just get right to the threat as quick as possible and take out the threat because every time you hear a shot go off it could potentially be a kid getting killed or anybody getting killed for that matter,”Coral Springs Officer Raymond Kerner said, the Sentinel reported.


The report also showed BSO’s disjointed 911 system was partially responsible for the slowed response time along with radio and video problems.

BSO did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. BCPS did not respond due to being on school break.

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