BARTOW, Fla. (FOX 13) - It has been almost a year since the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, where an active shooter killed 17 students and staffers.
On Tuesday, Polk Sheriff Grady Judd, a member of the commission studying the massacre, released preliminary findings to the members of the Tiger Bay Club in Bartow.
“With the school system in Broward County, there was total system failures,” Judd said. “If you look at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office that day and their response, there was a total system failure.”
Judd says that suspect Nikolas Cruz had smooth sailing from square one.
“The Uber driver that let him out at the school saw that he was carrying a Cabela’s gun case with magazine pouches,” said Judd.
But the driver did not let anyone know.
“Come on man, what are you doing!” exclaimed Judd.
A school monitor -- who knew Cruz had a troubled past -- noticed him, but did not report that he was on campus.
There was nothing to stop him.
“The shooter arrived through an open gate, through an unlocked schoolroom or school building, and fired shots for one minute and 30 seconds before we ever really noticed,” Judd said.
By the time a deputy got from where he was to the shooting scene, the assailant had already shot 22 people, nine fatally.
“The failures were rampant in this event,” Judd continued. “Rampant! And it breaks your heart.”
The commission will presumably present more findings in the future. It has been charged with studying what happened at Parkland for the next five years.