Scott calls for independent investigation of response to Parkland school shooting

Broward Sheriff's Office under fire after several missteps

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

PARKLAND, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott has called on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the law enforcement response to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The governor's office said the investigation will begin immediately.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and his agency have come under increasing criticism in recent days after reports the deputies did not heed repeated complaints about gunman Nikolas Cruz before the shooting. Israel also said this week that armed school resource deputy Scot Peterson failed to engage Cruz during the shooting that left 17 people dead on Feb. 14.

A decorated Broward Sheriff's Office deputy, Peterson resigned after he was suspended without pay.

On Friday, Israel launched an investigation after Coral Spring police officers charged that three additional deputies did not enter the high school while Cruz was inside.

Israel rejected calls for his resignation Sunday, saying his agency had done "amazing work."

"BSO will fully cooperate with FDLE, as we believe in full transparency and accountability," Israel said. "This independent, outside review will ensure public confidence in the findings."

Florida House Republicans led by House Speaker Richard Corcoran sent a letter to Scott on Sunday, calling Israel to be suspended from office for "incompetence and neglect of duty."

Scott told The Associated Press that the investigation must run its course before any action is taken.

"There must be an independent investigation and that is why I asked the FDLE Commissioner to immediately start this process," Scott said. "I have spoken to Speaker Corcoran about his request and I understand his concerns. I have spoken to the speaker regularly since the shooting, and like me, he wants the families to have answers and for there to be full accountability."

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