The sheriff whose deputies failed to confront the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, one year ago has been removed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The Sun-Sentinel reported former Broward Sheriff Scott Israel was replaced by former Coral Springs Police Sgt. Gregory Tony, 40.
With a background in active-shooter training, he’s the first black sheriff in Broward County’s history.
Seventeen people were killed and another 17 wounded last Valentine’s Day.
WND reported the suspect, Nikolas Cruz, at one point told a detective that a demon in his head, the “evil side,” told him to kill and destroy.
During the more than 11 hours of questioning by Broward sheriff’s Detective John Curcio, Cruz cursed at himself when the officer left the room and said he deserved to die.
The Sun-Sentinel explained the Florida Constitution gives the governor the authority to suspend public officials for “neglect of duty” and other causes.
Last fall, then-Gov. Rick Scott suspended elections supervisor Brenda Snipes for election violations even though she already had resigned.
“The suspension caps a nearly year-long series of revelations that exposed the failure of Broward sheriff’s deputies to run in to save children at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Some deputies said they couldn’t remember when they’d last been trained to handle an active shooter, even though the agency had a confused, chaotic response to a mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in 2017,” the Sun-Sentinel said.
After the catastrophe, he went on CNN to praise his leadership, and, as the Sun-Sentinel said, “glossed over his agency’s mistakes.”
Authorities had had multiple encounters with Cruz, and there had been warnings of the threat he posed.
WND also reported that three administrators and a security specialist were reassigned after the shooting.