Sheriff says deputies will carry rifles at Broward County schools

Israel says superintendent supports decision after Parkland school shooting

By Michael Seiden - Reporter, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - In response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 dead and more than a dozen others injured on Valentine's Day in Parkland, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Wednesday that he is planning to issue rifles to trained resource deputies at local public schools. 

During a news conference, Israel told reporters that Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie supported the idea.

"Our deputies, who are qualified and trained, will be carrying rifles on school grounds from this point forward," Israel said.

Israel has also faced criticism for the department's response to the shooting. He said there was an armed deputy on campus, but he did not fire his gun.

 "His response and actions, like everyone else, will be scrutinized," Israel said. 

After the death of the 14 students and three adults, Israel said he believed law makers needed to enact "common sense" gun laws and said he had a conversation about it with Gov. Rick Scott.

Former student Nikolas Cruz, who confessed to the shooting, legally purchased the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle when he was 18 years old.

The sheriff also addressed reports that the Coral Springs police chief feels the Broward Sheriff's Office is not giving proper credit to Coral Springs and Sunrise police officers who responded to the shooting before deputies arrived.

"Shame on anyone who would talk about credit at a time like this," Israel said. "This is about the victims and the families who lost their loved ones, and anybody who would worry about credit at a time like this is petty."

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