A campus monitor at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Florida, watched with alarm as Nikolas Cruz marched across campus on February 14, but did not approach the former student.
Andrew Medina, an unarmed campus monitor at the school, told the Sun Sentinel that he recognized young man getting out of an Uber on the afternoon of February 14 as a former student known as “crazy boy” but couldn’t remember his name.
“He’s beelining. He’s got his head down. He’s on a mission, you know. He’s on a mission,” Medina reportedly told investigators in an interview after the mass shooting that killed 17 people.
Medina reportedly radioed another campus monitor to report the suspicious sighting, and while he noticed Cruz was carrying a bag and a backpack, it didn’t occur to him that Cruz was armed. Still, he did not confront the student — because he had been trained to alert other security personnel if he saw something suspicious.
“Do what we’ve been taught. Report it,” Medina said. “Because I was ready to go get him. Like, I was ready to go be the guy, just go get him.”
Medina said he followed behind Cruz on his golf car, “kind of chasing him,” before Cruz started sprinting away. Moments later, he was inside a campus building.
The campus monitor’s account given to the Sun Sentinel conflicts somewhat with what he reportedly told investigators. He claimed he saw Cruz from a distance of two football fields, and denied discussing a meeting in which school staff had previously identified Cruz as someone who could potentially become violent.
Medina had radioed another campus monitor, David Taylor, to warn him about the “suspicious kid.”
According to Medina’s account, Taylor saw Cruz loading his rifle just before shots rang out.
“When [Taylor] was walking halfway down the hallway, he heard the shots and he ran right into a janitor’s closet that was right there,” Medina reportedly said. “Like, that’s what we’re — our training is go in, lock in, close all the doors.”
Medina said the training also discouraged school staff from reporting an emergency code until they are sure there is an emergency, given the massive response that such an alert would elicit from law enforcement. Because he wasn’t sure if what he was hearing were gunshots, Medina said he decided against it.
“I don’t want to be the guy who calls that, you know.”
Debbi Hixon lost her husband Chris Hixon in the shooting. The athletic director and campus monitor was shot and killed when he confronted Cruz. She told the Sun Sentinel she believes the other campus monitors should have recognized the threat and responded more swiftly.
“If someone had confronted him, I think he would have been a coward and it wouldn’t have happened,” she said. “Why didn’t people just do their job? Here was a trespasser.”