Two More Broward Officers Fired over Failed Parkland Response

Students arrive at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for the first time since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, February 28, 2018. (Mary Beth Koeth/Reuters)

Over a year after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla., two more Broward County sheriff’s deputies have been fired for failing to act to stop the massacre.

Deputies Edward Eason and Josh Stambaugh were terminated Tuesday after an internal investigation of the department’s response to the shooting showed they’d failed to act, Broward County sheriff Gregory Tony said.

“It was neglect of duty, [with] the most severe consequences as we lost 17 people,” Tony said. “We are now going to move forward with fixing the issues that exist here.”

On Valentine’s Day of last year, a disturbed former student entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with an AR-15 rifle and opened fire, killing 17 and injuring 17 more. The shooter is being held and faces 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.

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Of the eight officers nicknamed the “cowards of Broward” for their failure to respond to the emergency, four have been fired, three will remain on duty, and former school-resource officer Scot Peterson has been arrested for child neglect, culpable negligence, and perjury.

A state investigation of the law-enforcement response to the shooting found both deputies had failed to respond properly. Stambaugh spent precious minutes putting on his bulletproof vest before hiding instead of entering the school building, while Eason allegedly fled the scene of the shooting.

“Even after multiple interviews with Deputy Eason it was not clear when he arrived on campus,” the state report said. “And investigators found his statements to be both vague and contradictory.”

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