Over 100 students at Parkland high school casually roamed hallways, unaware of threat, as Nikolas Cruz was fatally gunning down classmates just below: Report

A new report in response to a deadly mass shooting in Florida last year has provided additional detail about the afternoon of February 14, when Nikolas Cruz walked into a building on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and shot 32 people, 17 fatally, before blending in with evacuating students and leaving the campus.

As CrimeOnline has previously reported, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office has been widely criticized for the response of the department’s School Resource Officers assigned to the high school, who did not apprehend Cruz even after it was clear there was an imminent threat on school grounds. And as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission’s report on the incident shows, the delay in calling a Code Red alert at the school meant that many people in Building 12, where the shooting took place, had no idea they were in harm’s immediate way even as Cruz stalked the three-story building with semi-automatic weapons.

As reported by WPTV, the MSD Commission released the report on Wednesday, which included a recommendation that select school teachers, following training protocol, should be permitted to carry firearms on campus in the event of a school shooter.

A section of the report provides an incident timeline, broken out in small intervals. It shows the movements of the shooter after he entered the freshman building at 2:21 on February 14. Within seconds, Cruz opened fire and continued to shoot in multiple locations, wounding several people, some fatally, on the first floor of the building. Because no Code Red was called, the fire alarm that rang out a full minute after the shooting spree began was the first widespread signal that something was wrong; some students on the second floor of the building, where Cruz eventually moved after shooting 24 people on the first floor, were aware by that time of the danger.

But dozens of students on the third floor of the building did not appear to realize there was a deadly massacre taking place in the immediate vicinity.

“By this time, well over 100 students were in the east end of the third-floor hall with no indication that a shooter was present in the building,” the report reads. “Many students were smiling and apparently engaged in casual conversation because no Code Red was called.”

The full MSD Public Safety Commission Report can be read here. 

Cruz is awaiting trial for the murder of 17 people and the attempted murder of 17 more.

The proposal to arm school teacher in Florida will have to be approved by legislators before it goes into effect; and it is reportedly opposed by the PTA and the teachers union.


[Feature image: MPI04 / MediaPunch/IPX via Associated Press]