Thursday, April 26, 2018

Trigger Warning

 Truly this is not for the faint of heart to read.  This describes the minutes that Nikolas Cruz entered his former school to wreak as much as damage as possible and had the building not been updated to make that effort impossible the outcome would have been worse.  And we know this as the Police and SRO stayed outside for whatever excuses, explanations, justifications or bullshit they could come up with that enabled Cruz to do the damage he did.

I have been quite critical of the way the Waffle House killer was handled. Found behind an Elementary School where it was likely he was all day, with only one Police Vehicle and Officer stationed outside in a school of over 1000 put many lives a risk.  We know he did have a firearm on his person but again given what was known at the time that could have been more.  So for over 33 hours the manhunt seemed utterly stagnant if not ludicrous if that woman who called 911 was clear about her observations which led him to be found.  I am unclear how anyone with any even rudimentary math skills could not map out an area, make some calculations on what was presumed to be a poorly attired man (at that point he was unknown if he was wearing full clothing to protect him from the rain) could run and hide within the time frame he left the Waffle House and in turn returned home to get whatever clothing and "other" items before absconding.  The stolen BWM the likely get away vehicle has already been returned to the Dealership nary a query to any neighbors to even gauge knowledge of the car and how it ended up in the parkling lot or even an attempt to see if they recognized the security camera footage of the alleged thief.  Great Police work.

So when you see or hear something say something.  I see incompetence and the solution is to arm Teachers.  Next Waffle House service personnel, sounds like a good idea.  And for the record I have never been to one as they are as ubiquitous here as Denny's and my personal favorite that has since closed Sambo's was in the Northwest where I grew up. They too had their own "issues" and hence why Sambo's closed but these are notorious places to go and be drunk and disruptive and in turn find yourself a member of the club of patrons who made asses out of themselves.  That said the new climate of fear and resentment has changed that dynamic and Waffle House is no less  exempt as Starbucks for their "issues."

So when the commission reviewed the carnage at Stoneman Douglas that day it showed a boy determined to kill and the chaos and lack of communication and security that enabled him to do so. From the fire alarms going off to the inability of Teachers to lock doors without going out into the hall to do so (which led to the one Teacher's death) and lastly the failure of the Police to enter the building and enabled Cruz to vacate without incident shows that arming Teachers really is a stupid idea.  And sadly the one Father who I was hoping to never hear of again whose daughter died decided for whatever reason to sit on said commission and relieve his daughters last moments, was rightly furious.  Thankfully he stopped short of arming Teachers as he is very pro gun.  He simply cannot acknowledge that regardless of the mental health of the shooter the access to guns is something not denied, unlike say such as mental health care.

Again, had the self acknowledged not "hero" stopped the Waffle House gunman the patrons and the staff would have been senselessly murdered.  The father of this young man who returned said guns to his son after the FBI returned them to the Father with that caveat should be prosecuted as an accomplice.  And the gun laws need to be changed so that the FBI could have simply confiscated them and destroyed them as the owner was clearly too disturbed to retain ownership.  Funny they would take a pet from someone who exhibited similar behaviors, a gun 

Parkland Gunman Carried Out Rampage Without Entering a Single Classroom

APRIL 24, 2018

MIAMI — Armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and more than 300 rounds of ammunition, Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in February without entering a single classroom.

Instead, Mr. Cruz, a former Stoneman Douglas High student, carried out his carnage by walking down the hallways of the freshman building and taking aim at students and teachers trapped in the corridors or locked inside classrooms. Several times, he returned to victims he had already wounded to shoot them dead.

That was the chilling narrative that law enforcement provided on Tuesday in a minute-by-minute animation of Mr. Cruz’s movements through the school, the first time the police made public a detailed timeline of the gunman’s actions inside the building. The animation, played for members of a Florida commission investigating the mass shooting, showed that the gunman had time to pursue victims on all three floors of the building during his six-minute rampage.

At no point during the shooting did police officers enter the building or engage the gunman, even though there was an armed deputy from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office outside less than two minutes after the shooting began, and several other officers heard gunfire after they arrived. The law enforcement response is expected to be closely reviewed by a special public safety commission created by the Florida Legislature last month. Among its 16 members are three fathers of students killed in the shooting.

The commission’s first meeting, held on Tuesday in Coconut Creek, about 15 minutes from the school, laid bare a number of other areas under review. Emergency calls did not go to a single agency: The 911 emergency system sent cellphone calls from inside the school to the Coral Springs Fire Department, but landline calls from worried parents to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The police radio system became overloaded during the response, forcing officers to use hand signals to indicate which classrooms had been cleared. And teachers could not lock their classroom doors from the inside.

“The teacher had to go out into the hallway and take the key and try to lock the door. That’s messed up no matter how you slice it,” said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County, the commission chairman. On the police radio problems, he added: “You had commanders that were going from car to car to car, from radio to radio to radio, trying to get on it.”

“We’ve got some hard questions that need to be answered,” he added. “Nobody here thinks it’s going to be easy.”

The animation, based on surveillance video and witness statements, showed floor plans, with dots to represent people. Victims appeared as green dots that turned yellow if they were injured and purple if they were killed.

According to the animation, there were two sets of fatal victims: 11 on the first floor, who were attacked so quickly that they could hardly take cover, and six on the third floor, many of whom were leaving their classrooms thinking a fire drill was underway. The gunfire created smoke that set off the fire alarm, contrary to early reports that suggested the gunman might have pulled the alarm himself to wreak chaos.

Students on the second floor knew to ignore the alarm and stay indoors because they heard the shots, the police said. The sound of gunfire apparently did not reach the third floor, and the students and teachers there had no way of distinguishing between a fire drill, which required evacuating the building, and a “code red,” which required seeking shelter.
Updated: What Happened in the Parkland School Shooting

A gunman armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 assault rifle and “countless magazines” killed at least 17 people at his former high school in Florida in February.

“That led to my daughter also being murdered on the third floor,” said Andrew Pollack, a commission member. He has said his 18-year-old daughter, Meadow, was shot nine times. The animation did not identify any of the victims. Mr. Pollack refused to refer to Mr. Cruz by name, instead calling him by his prison number, 181968.

On the first floor, the gunman shot from the door into classrooms 1214 and 1216, injuring or killing several victims, and later returned to the doors of both classrooms to hurt more people. One victim who entered the building during the shooting managed to take cover after being injured, but Mr. Cruz eventually found him and killed him.

Mr. Cruz fired from the hallway into two second-floor classrooms, the animation showed, but did not hit anyone.

On the third floor, Mr. Cruz fired indiscriminately into people assembled in the hallway, injuring several of them before turning his back and pausing, apparently to reload his weapon, said Detective Zack Scott, one of the lead homicide investigators on the case. That allowed a number of people to try to escape down a stairwell. Once the gunman realized they were getting away, he shot at them again, killing at least two of them. Four injured people remained in the hallway; he went back and killed three of them.

Sheriff Larry Ashley of Okaloosa County, a commission member, said the animation reminded him of a video game: “How many kills can I get?”

The gunman shot his way into a locked teachers’ lounge and tried to set up a sniper position from the windows, aiming at students rushing outside in what they thought was a fire drill. For about three minutes, he shot round after round into the glass — but they were hurricane-resistant windows. “The rounds fragment and splinter immediately, and they do not find targets,” Detective Scott said.

Outside, several sheriff’s deputies arrived on campus after reports of shots fired, but they could not determine where they were coming from. At least two officers from the Coral Springs Police Department did realize the shooting was taking place inside the freshman building, but did not enter. One of them, Bryan Wilkins, said in a firsthand account released on Tuesday that he was advised “by an unknown BSO Deputy taking cover behind a tree, ‘he is on the third floor.’”

Unlike the older buildings on the Stoneman Douglas High campus where classrooms line open-air hallways — resembling a motel — the freshman building was enclosed and allowed the gunman to operate without being observed from outside.

“There’s a reason why he picked Building 12, in my view,” Sheriff Gualtieri said of Mr. Cruz. “This was a unique building. He was unchallenged. Unfettered.”

The state commission, which has subpoena power, is expected to issue its findings and recommendations by Jan. 1. Commissioners plan to go to the campus to walk around the building and see the place where surveillance video showed that Deputy Scot Peterson, the school resource officer, took cover outside during the shooting, in apparent violation of protocol requiring that law enforcement try to confront an active shooter. Mr. Peterson resigned after Sheriff Scott Israel placed him under internal investigation eight days after the shooting. Several other deputies also are under investigation for failing to immediately enter the freshman building.

Sheriff Israel, who has defended his “amazing leadership” of the office, faces a nonbinding vote of no confidence on Thursday from the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, a labor union that did not represent Mr. Peterson. The union president, Jeff Bell, cited the sheriff’s handling of the Parkland shooting as one of the reasons deputies have lost confidence in their leader. Sheriff Israel has dismissed the vote as a bargaining tactic from a union seeking a pay raise.

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