While the Broward County Sheriff’s Department struggles to downplay fierce criticism over their handling of the devastating school shooting that stunned southern Florida this month, new data shows the agency was notified at least 45 times regarding the gunman’s erratic behavior.
Despite Sheriff Scott Israel’s insistence that his agency received 23 calls regarding 19-year old Nikolas Cruz, records released by the department show at least 45 calls were made to the Broward County Sheriff’s office between 2008 and 2017.
The new details raise even more questions over how local law enforcement and the FBI missed multiple red flags that should have prevented Cruz’s rampage at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The FBI found itself in hot water this week over their response to “multiple tips” regarding Cruz, including information from a family insider that worried the gunman would “go into a school and just shoot the place up.”
Nikolas Cruz confessed to the deadly mass shooting at the Parkland, Florida high school on February 14; killing seventeen individuals and injuring scores more.
FLORIDA FURY: Gov. Scott SLAMS FBI, Demands Answers Over BOTCHED School Shooting Tip
Florida Governor Rick Scott called-on the FBI to publicly release information provided to the bureau just weeks before 19-year old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at a local high school; blasting the agency’s “inexcusable inaction” after it received specific information about the gunman.
Gov. Scott’s office released a statement Monday on the bureau’s “mishandling” of specific intelligence relating to Cruz, with one tip saying the shooter “possessed weapons” and may be in the final stages of planning a “school shooting.”
“Last week, our state and nation was shocked to learn of the FBI’s inexcusable inaction after receiving a tip informing them of Cruz’s desire to carry out a school shooting,” said Scott. “The FBI’s failure to initiate an investigation raises many questions, and the victims’ families deserve answers now.”
“Last week, I called on Director Wray to resign, and the FBI should release all records involving this terrible error. People in Washington tend to want to investigate, hold hearings and put off what truly needs to be done. Instead, someone needs to be held accountable,” he added.
The Governor’s comments come days after FBI Director Christopher Wray publicly admitted that his agency failed to follow “proper procedure” after it received information Cruz was planning his attack; pledging to prevent similar inactivity in the future.
AMERICAN HEROES: Florida Survivors Used BULLET PROOF SHEETS to Protect Fellow Students
Two survivors at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in southern Florida used “Kevlar sheets” from a Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps course to help shield their fellow students from a hail of gunfire; saving countless lives and untold injuries during the mass shooting.
The students spoke with Tampa’s Fox affiliate, discussing their plan to protect those around them when they began to “hear the pops” as 19-year old Nikolas Cruz opened fire on students at the local high school.
“I heard the pops, I heard the fire drill, and I knew there was a shooter,” said one student. “I looked at all the kids behind me, just looking at me frozen, and I yelled to them ‘Run back to the classroom, go back now!”
“In our JROTC program, we have a team that’s called marksmanship, so our backdrop for the targets that we shoot are actually kevlar sheets that we hang,” he added. “We put everybody behind them. That way they were all at least somewhat safe because the kevlar—it wouldn’t have stopped a bullet, but it would have slowed it down a lot so that the damage someone would have received from it, God forbid, would have been a lot less.”
Watch the heroes’ comments above.