Reports: Police moved past deputies to enter Florida school


When Coral Springs police officer Gil Monzon arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School minutes after a gunman unleashed a massacre that killed 17, he says he found two Broward County sheriff's deputies in the parking lot.

He asked for the shooter's location, and was told they didn't know, but he could see a body next to the freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and bullet marks in its third-floor windows. He said in reports released Monday that he and three other Coral Springs officers immediately went to the building, checked the body and then entered, where they immediately found a victim standing against a wall and then falling to the floor.

The four pages written by three officers detail what they found when they arrived at the Feb. 14 shooting that also left 17 wounded. They corroborate earlier reports that the first Broward deputies at the scene failed to enter the building to confront the gunman and assist the wounded.

Officer Tim Burton, the first on-duty Coral Springs officer to arrive, grabbed his rifle and was directed toward the freshman building, where he found Deputy Scot Peterson, the school's security officer, taking cover behind a concrete column.

He said Peterson told him he had not heard any shots for several minutes, but to watch his back, that the shooter might be in the parking lot.

Peterson would soon retire from his deputy job under criticism from Sheriff Scott Israel, who said he should have immediately entered the building to find the killer. Parents, meanwhile, speculated that victims on the third floor could have survived had first responders reached them more quickly: Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina died in the attack, tweeted over the weekend, "6 on the 3rd may have lived if anyone had gone in."

Monzon said that after dragging the victim who collapsed out of the building, he and three other officers went back inside.

"The hallway was quiet and full of thick smoke from gunfire," he wrote. They found a female hiding in an office and led her outside.

By then, another team of Coral Springs officers entered the building from the other side, so to avoid accidentally firing at each other, Monzon and his team moved to the second floor, where they found students and teachers hiding in classrooms. Still unsure if the gunman was in the building, they left survivors locked in classrooms and moved to the third floor, where Monzon said he "encountered several deceased students throughout the hall." He was then sent to help clear a nearby building.

On Friday, the Broward Sheriff's Office released its own reports from deputies, including one who sped four miles from another school and joined Coral Springs officers searching the freshman building. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also is preparing a report on the overall law enforcement response.

Police say Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former Stoneman Douglas student, committed the mass shooting and then fled the building after his gun jammed. They say he joined students as they ran to the street and he was captured an hour later about a mile away. His attorneys have said he would plead guilty to 17 counts of murder in exchange for life without parole. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

One dead after vehicle crash in Clinton Co.
One dead after vehicle crash in Clinton Co.

One person has died after a vehicle crash in Wilmington Sunday, OSP Wilmington Post Sgt. Jeremy Grillot confirmed. Crews were dispatched to Airborne Road, about one-half mile east of State Route 134 around 10:30 a.m. Initial scanner traffic indicated that there were people ejected and entrapped, but that has not been confirmed. It’s not clear...
Some Ritz products recalled for potential salmonella presence
Some Ritz products recalled for potential salmonella presence

Some Ritz products are being voluntarily recalled due to the potential presence of salmonella. Mondelez Global LLC announced the voluntary recall in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Saturday. >> Read more trending news  The affected products are some Ritz Cracker Sandwiches and Ritz Bits products. According...
Chrissy Teigen shares sweet video of son Miles smiling & kicking his feet: 'This little dude'
Chrissy Teigen shares sweet video of son Miles smiling & kicking his feet: 'This little dude'

Looks like Chrissy Teigen might have a future soccer player on her hands! Teigen, 32, shared a sweet video of her 9-week-old son Miles Theodore on Saturday, as her baby boy lounged on his back while smiling and kicking his feet. “The little guy,” she captioned the adorable — but sound-less — social media clip...
Tony Sparano, former Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders head coach, dead at 56
Tony Sparano, former Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders head coach, dead at 56

Offensive line coach for the Minnesota Vikings Tony Sparano died Sunday morning at age 56. The Vikings said in a statement Sunday that Sparano died unexpectedly. >> Read more trending news  Before coaching with the Vikings, Sparano was the head coach for the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders. He started his NFL career in 1999 as an...
Rapper Offset posts bail, reunites with wife Cardi B after arrest for weapon, drug charges
Rapper Offset posts bail, reunites with wife Cardi B after arrest for weapon, drug charges

Migos rapper Offset came home Saturday after he was arrested on suspicion of drug and weapon charges Friday. WSB reported the 25-year-old and his bodyguard, Senay Gezahgn, were traveling in Jonesboro, Georgia, when police pulled over Offset for an improper lane change. Offset, whose real name is Kiari Cephus, was driving a 2014 Porsche 911...
More Stories