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Armed officer at Florida school shooting never went inside to confront gunman

The armed officer on duty at the Florida school where a shooter killed 17 people never went inside to engage the gunman and has been placed under investigation, police announced Thursday.

The school resource officer at the high school took up a position viewing the western entrance of the building that was under attack for more than 4 minutes, but “he never went in,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a news conference.

The officer, Scot Peterson, was suspended without pay and placed under investigation, then chose to resign, Israel said.

When asked what Peterson should have done, Israel said the deputy should have “went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer.”

The sheriff said he was “devastated, sick to my stomach. There are no words. I mean these families lost their children. I’ve been to the funerals. I’ve been to the vigils. There are no words.”

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said he was “devastated”


“What I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of Building 12, take up a position and he never went in,” said Israel. The building is popularly known as “the freshman building.”

Israel said he would not release the video that shows Peterson’s actions at this time and may never do so, “depending on the prosecution and criminal case.” 

The shooting at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School by a gunman armed with an AR-15 style assault rifle has reignited national debate over gun laws and school safety, including proposals by President Donald Trump to designate more people – including trained teachers – to carry arms on school grounds.

Gun-control advocates, meanwhile, have redoubled their push to ban assault rifles.

The suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, has been jailed on 17 counts of murder and has admitted the attack. Defense attorneys, state records and people who knew him indicate that he displayed behavioral troubles for years. He owned a collection of weapons.

Politicians under pressure to tighten gun laws in response to the mass shooting floated various plans Thursday.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said a visit to Stoneman Douglas prompted him to change his stance on large capacity magazines. The Republican insisted he is willing to rethink his past opposition on gun proposals if there is information the policies would prevent mass shootings.

“If we are going to infringe on the Second Amendment, it has to be a policy that will work,” Rubio said in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press.

State Sen. Bill Galvano, who is helping craft a bill in response to the shooting deaths, said an idea gaining traction is a program that would allow local sheriffs to deputize someone at a school to carry a gun on campus.

Galvano insisted the idea is not the same as arming teachers. He said the program would be optional and the deputized person would have to be trained by local law-enforcement agencies.

Florida Senate President Joe Negron said both chambers are working on the legislation in response to the Parkland shootings. He said a final draft should be available “early next week at the latest.”

People light candles in front of mementoes placed in front of the fence of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School 


What won’t be considered is a ban on assault-style rifles.

That falls short of reform demanded by students who converged on Florida’s Capitol to take their concerns to state lawmakers Wednesday. Outside the building, many protesters complained that lawmakers were not serious about gun control and said that in future elections they would oppose any legislator who accepts campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association.

A day after an emotional meeting with survivors and their families, Trump tweeted his strongest stance yet on gun control. He said he would endorse strengthening background checks, banning “bump stock” style devices and raising the minimum age to 21 for buying certain rifles.

At a conference of conservative activists Thursday near Washington, Vice President Mike Pence said the administration would make school safety “our top national priority” after the shooting at the school in Parkland, Florida.

Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/22/armed-officer-florida-school-shooting-never-went-inside-confront/

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