Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies hid outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while a gunman went on a shooting rampage inside, according to a Coral Springs Police report released Tuesday.
One unnamed deputy even thought he knew where inside the school the shooter was, but remained outside the building, according to the report obtained by the Miami Herald.
The information sheds new light on the police response to the worst school shooting in Florida history — deemed botched after school resource officer Scot Peterson never entered the freshman building where gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people.
“As I was advancing on foot through the chain-link fence, I was advised by an unknown BSO Deputy taking cover behind a tree, ‘he is on the third floor,” wrote Coral Springs officer Bryan Wilkins.
BSO deputies didn’t immediately try to locate Cruz or aid his victims, despite being trained to to confront active shooters without delay, the report said, the Miami Herald reported.
At least three other BSO deputies were on the scene as gunshots rang out, but couldn’t pinpoint the shooter’s location.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel condemned Peterson’s response to the shooting, saying he was “sick to my stomach” the deputy didn’t enter the building.
Wilkins described the scene at which he arrived.
“I saw approximately four Broward County Sheriff’s Office vehicles parked [on the road outside the school] ... with their personnel taking up exterior positions behind their vehicles,” Wilkins said, according to the Miami Herald. “I drove up just west of the campus building 1200, exited my vehicle, grabbed my AR-15 rifle and donned on my tactical/medical gear,” he wrote in the report.
There he encountered the BSO deputy taking cover behind a tree who had a sense of the shooter’s location.
Wilkins then approached the building with Coral Springs Detective Gil Monzon and an “unknown BSO deputy.”
They found bullet holes in the building’s windows and doors.
Cruz had fled the building by the time they entered, leaving dead bodies in his wake.
“The corridor was smoky and smelled of gunpowder and blood,” Wilkins wrote in his report.
Peterson, who resigned, remains the subject of a pending internal affairs investigation.