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Florida School Shooting Reveals Epic Government Failures

An armed Broward County sheriff’s deputy being paid an annual salary of $75,674 a year, who was tasked with protecting students at the Florida high school where 17 students and teachers were killed last week, waited outside during Nikolas Cruz’s rampage law enforcement officials revealed on Thursday.

Scot Peterson, who was assigned to the school as a resource officer, did not enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the shooting, but instead decided to take position outside of the school as the gunman Scott Israelwalked the halls, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a news conference reported by the Sun-Sentinel newspaper and other media outlets.

Israel made the decision to suspend Peterson — who was armed and in uniform at the time of the shooting — after interviewing the deputy and reviewing footage and witness statements, he said.

“What I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of building 12, take up a position,” Israel said of the video. “And he never went in,” Sheriff Israel said.

The shooting lasted a total of six minutes and the officer “clearly” could hear gunfire reported Politico Florida’s Marc Caputo. When asked what Peterson should have done, Israel said the deputy should have "went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer."

Asked how he felt watching the footage, Israel said: “Devastated. Sick to my stomach. There are no words. These families lost their children. We lost coaches. I’ve been to the funerals, I’ve been to the homes where they sit and shiver. I’ve been to the vigils. It’s just — there are no words.”

Peterson resigned Thursday after he was suspended pending an internal investigation into his actions, Israel said according to reporting by Kurtis Lee of the LA Times.

Israel also said two other deputies have been placed on restrictive duty while the sheriff’s office investigates their actions during calls to the gunman’s home before the shooting reported CNN’s news wire.

Since 2008, CNN news wire reports, the sheriff’s office was involved in 23 calls involving either Nikolas Cruz or his brother. During some of the calls — which were both in person and on the phone — deputies met with Cruz’s late mother.

After speaking with the internal affairs department, Sheriff Israel decided to put the deputies on restrictive duty while his office investigates “whether or not they could have done more, or should have done more,” he said.

There have now been three epic government failures revealed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killing case: The armed sheriff’s deputy who refused to engage the killer, the sheriff’s deputies who had numerous interactions with Nikolas Cruz that indicated just how troubled and dangerous he was, and failure by the FBI that has admitted "protocols were not followed" and that it failed to properly investigate a tip it received last month about Cruz’s threats to kill law enforcement personnel and to become a professional school shooter.

This is, as Jon Stokes of alloutdoor.com said, frankly, unbelievable.

It was a system failure at every level, from the FBI to the local sheriff’s deputies who interacted with Nikolas Cruz to the armed School Resource Officer onsite. Nobody did anything to stop a disturbed teenager that “everybody knew” was a ticking timebomb.

While the anti-gun crowd demands that the federal government ban the AR-15 and any other gun that they think looks like an “assault weapon,” what the latest revelations about the government and police failures at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tell us is that, as things stand now, waiting for the police to come and protect you from the next Nikolas Cruz is a death sentence.

CHQ Editor George Rasley is a Glock ® certified pistol armorer and a member of American MENSA. A veteran of over 300 political campaigns, including every Republican presidential campaign from 1976 to 2008, he served as lead advance representative for Governor Sarah Palin in 2008 and has served as a staff member, consultant or advance representative for some of America's most recognized conservative Republican political figures. He served in policy and communications positions on the House and Senate staff, and during the George H.W. Bush administration he served on the White House staff of Vice President Dan Quayle.

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Nikolas Cruz

Cruz was receiving special education services and therefore was classified into one of the dozen or so categories spelled out in federal law such as learning disabled, orthopaedically impaired, emotionally disturbed, deaf, developmentally delayed, etc. Of course the psychologist should have determined ED disturbed. Present law requires that all this be confidential. Change the law so when anyone 16 or older is classified ED the school has to place the individual on the "no buy" list.