Sheriff: Florida school resource deputy 'never went in' to confront shooter

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He said the deputy got there within a minute and a half of when the gunfire started.

US PRESIDENT DONALD has cast doubts on the character of an armed deputy who remained outside during last week's school shooting in Florida, saying he froze or was a "coward".

While his criticism was more measured than Sheriff Israel's, Bell acknowledged that officers are expected to intervene more actively.

The Florida deputy, Scot Peterson, "certainly did a poor job", Mr Trump said.

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Staff members returned for the first time on Friday to the Florida high school where 17 students and faculty were gunned down last week in one of the deadliest school attacks in United States history, inflaming the national debate about gun rights.

Surveillance video showed Peterson arriving at the building where the shooting happened about a minute after the first shots rang out, but he never entered during the more than four minutes the shooting continued.

"He should have went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer".

Police resource officers are posted at schools to specifically handle situations like these but despite being in uniform and armed, Peterson failed to do his duty.

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The sheriff's office is conducting a review over the possible mishandling of at least 23 tips spanning almost ten years about the shooting suspect, including one in 2017 that he was amassing a collection of knives and guns.

On Wednesday, Israel announced that Broward County sheriff's deputies would now be carrying AR-15 rifles on school grounds within the district, adding that one of the ways to make schools safer is to evaluate the number of school resource officers on campuses. "We're all going to figure it out together", he said.

The sheriff said he was "devastated" and "sick to (his) stomach". Officials have reviewed the 23 calls but are looking more closely at those two calls to see if they, "should have done more".

The FBI has admitted it also received a tip from someone concerned that Cruz could be a school shooter, but the tip wasn't properly forwarded. During some of the calls - which were handled both in person and on the phone - deputies met Cruz's mother.

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The caller also reported that Cruz wanted to join the Army, and was concerned he would kill himself and "could be a school shooter in the making".

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