The following is intended to assist the public and media in receiving accurate information that does not obstruct the ongoing Parkland shooting investigation.
Claim: Broward Sheriff's Office missed countless warning signs about shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz.
Fact: Calls for service to an address show the number of times deputies receive a call from a specific location. It does not mean that what occurred was criminal or an arrestable offense.
BSO investigators reviewed all the calls for service involving the shooter and his family. Of those calls, 18 involved the shooter directly. Those previous calls did not equate to a crime being committed. There were no arrestable offenses, nor was there evidence to prompt an involuntary mental health assessment. The shooter was assessed several times by mental health professionals and deemed not to be a threat to himself or others.
Claim: Broward deputies were told not to enter the school during the shooting unless body cameras were on.
Fact: Any suggestion that Sheriff Scott Israel or any other deputy from the Broward Sheriff's Office ordered body cameras to be turned on prior to entering the school is false.
To view the Broward Sheriff's Office policy on body worn cameras, click here.
Claim: The Broward Sheriff's Office has not had an active-shooter training since 2006.
Fact: Allegations that the Broward Sheriff's Office has not had an active-shooter training are false. In 2013, we revised the BSO Department of Law Enforcement SOP 4.37 (BSO ACTIVE SHOOTER SOP ), which relates to active-killer training, to adopt national best practices in law enforcement. Since 2014, sworn personnel have attended this new active-shooter training program and receive periodic refresher training. Since 2015, we have increased the level of active-killer training to include the implementation of the Extraction Team and the Rescue Task Force with fire rescue, and in January of 2018 provided BSO Fire/Rescue responders with body armor and ballistic helmets to allow for quicker entry into these critical situations.
Claim: A BSO captain told deputies to form a perimeter around the deadly scene instead of going in to confront the shooter.
Fact: The shooting had stopped. In the first dispatch transmission by Captain Jan Jordan, she asked if a perimeter had been established. The question was asked following transmissions by law enforcement on scene advising of victims located at the football field and near the entrance of Westglades Middle School. Other transmissions stated the location of the suspect was unknown and at least one other tranmission communicated units were making entry. By then, the suspect had been gone from building 1200 and his whereabouts were unknown. A perimeter is a secondary task that would be appropriate to apprehend the suspect, stop him from entering the neighboring middle school and prevent non-first responders (responding parents) from coming on the school property while it was on lockdown.
Claim: Real-time audio from dispatch records reveal error in the law enforcement response.
Fact: Investigators are utilizing more than one audio evidence to piece together the complex timeline. The inaccurate media reports may be due to the fact that the initial 911 calls were received by the Coral Springs Communications Unit. Coral Springs Fire Rescue was dispatched to the scene of an active shooter. BSO was dispatched shortly after to a call of possible shots fired. Initially, Coral Springs officers and BSO deputies were working on separate radio channels until the channels were patched together. The patching of radio channels was impeded by the fact Coral Springs is not part of the regional communications system. The patching of channels came after the shooter left the school.
Claim: The Broward Sheriff's Office is not forthcoming with information related to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Fact: Once all the facts are gathered and the investigation is completed, we will publicize the findings. Additionally, there is an internal investigation by BSO officials, as well as an investigation led by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that was requested by Governor Scott.
Sheriff Israel has ordered the entire department to fully cooperate with each investigation with transparency and honesty.
We would like to caution everyone regarding the dissemination of information that has not been verified. We need to allow the investigators time to do their work and get this right. Our focus continues to be on the families of the victims and ensuring that detectives present the State Attorney's Office with a strong case for prosecution.