Gov. Scott offers to send extra officers to Parkland school
Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday offered to provide extra security at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Florida, more than a month after a mass shooting on the campus.
Scott’s commitment came on the day the Broward County Sheriff’s Office suspended a deputy it accused of “appearing to sleep on duty” in his patrol car while he was parked outside Stoneman Douglas this week.
Three Stoneman Douglas students were also charged Tuesday in unrelated incidents — two for allegedly bringing weapons to campus and one for allegedly making a threat of violence on social media, the sheriff’s office said.
The governor asked Broward officials to require that an armed law enforcement officer guard every school entrance. The state is willing to provide help from the Florida Highway Patrol until a permanent plan is enacted, Scott wrote in a letter to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and Superintendent Robert Runcie.
“We must work together to ensure that no family will have to endure the loss of a child because of a school shooting in Florida,” the governor wrote.
Runcie said he spoke to the governor about the matter before the letter was issued, and thanked him for the additional support.
“Security at Marjory Stoneman Douglas continues to be an urgent priority for us,” Runcie said late Tuesday. “Given the developments over the past 24 hours, we will further enhance school safety measures.”
Runcie said more details will be released on Wednesday.
Nikolas Cruz, a former Stoneman Douglas student, roamed the hallways of the 1200 building on campus February 14 for several minutes, targeting victims huddled in classrooms on the first and second floors, killing 17 in one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern US history.
A Broward County grand jury indicted the 19-year-old Cruz earlier this month on 17 counts of premeditated murder in the first degree and 17 counts of attempted murder in the first degree. A judge entered a not-guilty plea on Cruz’s behalf during his arraignment last week.
This week, on Monday afternoon, a Stoneman Douglas student approached a Broward Sheriff’s Office sergeant patrolling the inside of the school and told him there was a deputy asleep in his patrol unit, the sheriff’s office said.
The sergeant knocked on the window of the car, which was parked on the northwest corner of the 1200 building, to get the deputy’s attention. That deputy “appeared to be sleeping,” the sheriff’s office said.
The deputy was suspended Tuesday with pay pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation, according to the sheriff’s office. The deputy did not return a voicemail left at his home Tuesday evening.
Three students were charged in unrelated incidents at the school.
On Tuesday, a 10th grade student was removed from class for “posting pictures on Snapchat depicting a handgun in his wasteband (sic) and numerous bullets,” according to a police report. A screen shot had circulated around the school, the report said.
The student, who admitted to creating the Snapchat image, said it was a picture of a BB gun, and the bullets belonged to his father, the report said.
He was charged with disrupting a school function, the sheriff’s office said, and was hospitalized under the Baker Act.
The other two Stoneman Douglas students were arrested for bringing knives to school, authorities said.
Both suspects were charged with weapons offenses, including possession of a weapon on school property, according to the police reports.