The Sun-Sentinel reported Friday that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into allegations that at least three deputies opted not to go into Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14 and instead stood outside while a gunman murdered 17 people.
The claims were made by Coral Springs police officers, who say that the deputies remained behind their cars with their guns drawn rather than going into the building when they were supposed to.
The news broke just one day after another deputy whose job it was to guard the school, Resource Officer Scot Peterson, resigned after he was caught on video also failing to enter the school.
Sheriff Scott Israel says his office will be cooperating with the police department to look into the accusations.
“If our investigation shows that our deputies made no mistakes or did things right, or it’s not corroborated, there will be no issue,” he said. “If we find out, as we did with Peterson, that our deputies made mistakes and didn’t go in, I’ll handle it like I always have. I’ll handle any violations of policy or procedures or whatever accordingly.”
According to reports, word of the deputies’ failure to carry out their duty has fostered resentment among Coral Spring officials. During a February 15 vigil, Coral Springs City Manager Mike Goodrum was witnessed having a heated confrontation with Sheriff Israel by dozens of people.
Goodrum later released a statement to CNN assuring that he and the sheriff still have a good working relationship: “Given the horrific events of that day emotions were running high and the sheriff and I had a heated moment the following evening. Sheriff Israel and I have spoken several times since and I can assure you that our departments have a good working relationship and the utmost respect for each other.”
These new allegations are only the latest in a list of failures officials made in the Parkland shooting. Between 2017 and 2018, deputies received at least 18 calls warning them about the shooter’s violent tendencies and of his plans to “shoot up the school.” The FBI also admitted it failed to act on a tip they received about the attacker.