TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A preliminary report released Wednesday by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission cites a breakdown in security procedures and protocol that contributed to the Feb. 14 mass shooting at the Parkland school.
"Our No. 1 finding needs to be that Nikolas Cruz is responsible for this," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Wednesday, the first of two final days of meetings in Tallahassee before the final report is presented.
Beyond that glaring conclusion, much of the focus of the meeting shifted to the failures that allowed Cruz, armed with an AR-15 rifle, to open fire on campus, killing 17 people.
"He got into the 1200 building because that door was unlocked and unstaffed and that we say that is a security failure," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.
The preliminary report outlines one such example.
"Unlocked and opened gates were regularly left unstaffed for long periods of time on the MSDHS campus," the report said. "School administers cited a lack of personnel as the explanation for the unstaffed and open gates. This explanation is unacceptable as leaving open perimeter gates unstaffed is a breach of effective security protocols."
The report is also critical of security lapses at the school.
"The overall lack of uniform and mandated physical site security requirements resulted in voids that allowed Cruz initial access to MSDHS and is a system failure," the report said.
Other flaws cited in the report include inadequate exterior video cameras outside building 12, how there were no public address system speakers in the hallways and exterior areas, and how the fire alarm caused confusion among students and staff.
The report also places blame on flawed procedures from the Broward Sheriff's Office that contributed to a delayed response.
"I'm extremely dismayed that the people around this table and the people working behind the scenes seem to be taking this much more seriously than Broward County and the officials in Broward County," panelist Melissa Larkin-Skinner said. "It actually makes me physically ill, because I would think that ground zero for this massacre would want to be ahead of the rest of the state."
Some of the preventative fixes involve armed assailant training for school personnel, bulletproof glass on classroom windows and for mental health providers to share information with schools about troubled students.
"My biggest concern is whether or not the districts and law enforcement, mental health community, etc., will actually implement the recommendations that we make," Ryan Petty, whose daughter was killed in the shooting, told Local 10 News.
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