Sheriff Says His Deputy Not Having ‘Heart’ to Confront School Shooter Isn’t His ‘Responsibility’

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel rebuked criticism he’s received over the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on the basis it wasn’t his “responsibility.”

He previously said that his office received about 20 phone calls over a two-year period about Cruz’s behavior. During an interview with NBC News 6, he passed responsibility for no one acting on those calls to the people who were directly involved.

“I’m the sheriff, my name’s on the door,” he said. “The people responsible are the ones who took the calls and didn’t follow up on them, as it was with the FBI, as it was with any person.”

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Israel added that although leaders are responsible for the agency, they are “not responsible for a person,” and he turned the attention to former Deputy Scot Peterson, who was stationed at the school.

“I gave him a gun. I gave him a badge. I gave him the training,” he said. “If he didn’t have the heart to go in, that’s not my responsibility.”

Peterson, who was armed with a handgun, retired after he was suspended pending an investigation of his decision to remain outside the school during the shooting. It was later revealed that three other officers also stayed outside while Coral Springs officers entered the building.

The sheriff said that the department will take statements from Coral Springs police officers and that it will be “investigated feverishly and thoroughly.”

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