(NEW YORK) — The Florida high school shooting that killed 17 students and staff on Feb. 14 is the result of a “dereliction of duty” by the FBI and local police who failed to adequately follow up on tips about the alleged shooter prior to the massacre, a National Rifle Association spokesperson said.
“This all stems from their dereliction of duty, and I know they say now it’s 23 times that they had calls in, in addition to two FBI tips and numerous reports from classmates” about the alleged shooter, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday.
“I wish that as much attention were given to the Broward County sheriff and their abdication of duty as trying to blame 5 million innocent, law-abiding gun owners all across the country for this,” she said.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel announced last week that two deputies were placed on restricted duty while the sheriff’s office investigates whether they “could have” or “should have” done more to respond to prior reports about the alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz, 19.
The sheriff’s office received 23 calls related to Cruz or his brother since 2008, Israel said.
Of the 23 calls, investigators believe two of the cases “deserve extra scrutiny” to see if there were a policy violation by the deputies involved, authorities said.
“This is not the fault, nor are 5 million innocent, law-abiding Americans culpable for this. Many of us are parents too,” Loesch said. “I want to see as much attention on the Broward County Sheriff, the FBI, the two FBI tips and the numerous calls.”
“I’m not a member of the FBI. I’m not a member of law enforcement, but I’m going to tell you, if someone is online using their name saying they’re going to shoot up a school, if they’re banned from school because they’ve taken bullets and knives in their backpack to school, if they’ve been sending messages saying that they’re going to shoot and kill their classmates, that to me sounds like a potential school shooter,” she said. “Family and neighbors called the Broward County Sheriff’s Office to report this individual, and they did not follow up. That is the headline.”
Loesch said blame for the mass shooting should also not be placed on the type of weapon Cruz allegedly used, a variant of the AR-15.
“That firearm did not walk itself into the school,” Loesch said. “An individual who was allowed to go unchecked by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office allowed that firearm to go in the school.”
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