On Valentine’s Day 2018, the worst mass shooting in Broward County occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The accused killer, Nikolas Cruz, is in custody awaiting trial for 17 counts of murder and assorted other charges.
As the investigation continues, more and more information on that fatal day continue to emerge. Yesterday, Gov. Rick Scott signed new gun legislation into law. A short time later the NRA filed suit claiming the bill violates the US Constitution.
Here’s CBS Miami’s report by David Sutta:
The Broward Sheriff’s Office released some of the 911 calls made that day (video courtesy the Washington Post):
TheHill: Florida governor signs new gun bill after Parkland shooting
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Friday signed into law a measure imposing new restrictions on gun purchases in the state following a deadly shooting at a South Florida high school last month.
Washington Post: ‘Can you play dead?’ New details about the chaos and fear that surrounded the Parkland massacre.
The mother’s voice was increasingly panicked. Her daughter was trapped inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while a former student stalked the halls with a rifle and fired bullet after bullet. Even from afar, she tried to comfort and protect her daughter.
“I love you. I love you. It’s going to be fine,” the mother said. “Can you hide somewhere? Can you play dead?”
Palm Beach Post: Parkland shooting: Deputy heard shots inside school, but stayed outside
A Broward County sheriff’s deputy who stood outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while students and staff members were being shot Feb. 14 didn’t go inside despite hearing gunfire coming from within the building where the mass shooting took place, records show.
On police radio dispatches released by the sheriff’s office, Scot Peterson can be heard referring to gunshots inside Building 12, where 17 people were killed. He stays outside the building for several minutes and advises other deputies to stay 500 feet away, even after the shooting had stopped.
Sun-Sentinel: Police radios failed during the Parkland shooting. The same thing happened a year earlier during another mass shooting.
The Broward County radio system that buckled under the crush of police officers connecting to its channels during the response to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has now twice been overwhelmed amid mass shooting scenes, stoking miscommunication and confusion among police.
When a gunman killed five travelers at Fort Lauderdale airport in January 2017 and again when a shooter killed 17 people in Parkland just over a year later, the failing system forced officers to at times ditch their radios, use hand signals and stay in groups to relay information to each other.
Miami Herald: Parkland shooter dreamed of killing, covering himself in blood, he told therapist
Nearly four years before school shooter Nikolas Cruz gunned down 17 students and educators at a Parkland high school, he confided in a therapist that he saw himself in a dream drenched in human blood.
A May 3, 2014, notation in a Broward County schools psychiatric file said Cruz “reported [a dream] last week of him killing people and covered in blood. He smiled and told the therapist that sometimes he says things for shock value.”
Miami Herald: These cops were first to see the dead and wounded in Parkland. Many later sought counseling.
Officer Chris Fahey burst through the west doors of the freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and rushed up a flight of stairs that only minutes earlier had served as an exit route for Florida’s most heinous school shooter.
As police scrambled for miles to get to Parkland and onto the school’s campus, Fahey watched as special police response teams bounded past him to the third floor. Then, terrified and trembling students streamed back down the stairwell and out the building, leaving behind the dead and gravely wounded.