Instead of running inside to confront the shooter during February’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Broward County Sheriff’s Deputies hid, according to recently released police reports.
On Tuesday, the Coral Springs Police Department released reports from their officers who responded to the shooting that left 17 dead on February 14.
According to the officers, they arrived on the scene to find Broward County Sheriff’s deputies taking cover instead of running towards the gunfire to get the shooter or aid the wounded, as they are trained.
Broward County Sheriff’s deputies allegedly hid behind cars and a tree instead of going into the school during the shooting, a new report reveals. BSO vehicles and law enforcement officers are pictured on the scene on February 14
Coral Springs Police Officer Bryan Wilkins said in his report, obtained by the Miami Herald, that he arrived on the scene within two minutes of getting he call.
Once there, he found one BSO deputy taking cover behind a tree, even though the deputy told him he knew the location of the shooter.
‘I saw approximately four Broward County Sheriff’s Office vehicles parked [on the road outside the school]… with their personnel taking up exterior positions behind their vehicles,’ Wilkins wrote. ‘I drove up just west of the campus building 1200, exited my vehicle, grabbed my AR-15 rifle and donned on my tactical/medical gear.’
Seventeen were killed in the February 14 shooting in the freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida (seen on the right above the day after)
School resource officer Scot Peterson, right, resigned after the shooting because he didn’t rush into the school to stop the shooter
Wilkins says he then approached the freshman building with Coral Springs Det. Gil Monzon and an ‘unknown BSO deputy’.
He and Monzon entered the building to find the dead and wounded, but the shooter had already fled.
Another Coral Springs cop who responded to the shooting, Sgt. Nick Mazzei, confirmed in his report that there were several BSO deputies ‘taking positions’ outside the school when he got there.
Mazzei wrote that he rushed past the officers and straight into the freshman building where the shooting took place.
BSO has faced criticism for their response to the shooting, but so far only one officer has faced repercussions: School resource officer Scot Peterson, who never even set foot inside the school despite being on the scene when gunfire first rang out. Peterson was later forced to resign, with Sheriff Scott Israel saying his actions made him ‘sick’.
Nikolas Cruz was arrested for carrying out the attack. He is seen in court on February 19
At least three other BSO officers responded to the scene.
BSO previously said their officers didn’t immediately go into the school because they couldn’t figure out where the gunfire was coming from. That appears to be in conflict with what has emerged from the recently released Coral Springs reports.
In a statement following the release of the reports, a BSO spokesman said: ‘The only two [law enforcement officer] that have been confirmed as not making entry are BSO Deputy Scot Peterson and that Coral Springs PD Officer Burton.’
The Coral Springs officer the spokesman was referring to, Tim Burton, was the first from his department to arrive at the scene, and was lauded for providing the information that led officers to the correct building.
He told officials after the incident that it was BSO’s Peterson who told him to watch out in case the shooter was planning an ambush
BSO has a contract to police the town of Parkland but officers from several other law enforcement agencies responded to the shooting – now the deadliest in state history.