MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Broward School District has hired a retired Secret Service agent to conduct an internal investigation of what happened on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School campus during last February’s deadly shooting.
For Phil Schentrup, whose daughter, Carmen, died in the attack, the decision at the school district today is long overdue. He demanded an investigation like this months ago and says much more needs to be done with just weeks left before school begins.
“It is obvious that people did not do their jobs,” Schentrup told CBS 4 News. “It is obvious that the school did not follow standard procedures for a single point of entry and securing that school.”
Schentrup has been demanding answers about what he believes was terribly lax security on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas campus on February 14th that allowed confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz to enter the school and murder 17 people and wound 17 others.
“The shooter walked through an open gate into open buildings and open doors because he could not because that’s the way it should have been,” he said.
On Tuesday, Schentrup heard the Broward School Board reveal that they’re hired a retired Secret Service agent named Steve Wexler to conduct an investigation into what happened at the school before, during and after the shooting. Schentrup says Wexler did a security audit at the school just months before the deadly shooting and found several significant security failing, communicating his findings to the school’s principal and other administrators.
“Outlined what they needed to do and then they did nothing and then two months later my daughter — along with 16 others were killed,” Schentrup said. “And I’d like to know why. I’d like to know why nothing was done.”
While he waits for answers, CBS 4 News reported yesterday that preparations are being made to secure Stoneman Douglas prior to the beginning of school. Metal detectors are going in. At schools across Broward, students and staff will need ID badges and entry points at schools are being limited.
For Schentrup, nothing will bring back his daughter Carmen and he questions how the district can keep Stoneman Douglas principal Ty Thompson in his current position.
“Why is a principal who let 17 people get killed then failed to secure his campus so the shooter’s brother trespasses multiple times on the campus still in charge of trying to figure out the security for that school?” Schentrup asked. “He’s failed.”
Schentrup believes the principal and head of security should at least be removed from the school while the investigation moves forward and once the investigation is done, he wants accountability.
“Whoever — whether it’s them or others — the investigation determines did not do their jobs, I want them fired,” he said.
CBS 4 News requested Tuesday to speak with Superintendent Robert Runcie about the hiring of the former Secret Service agent. We were told the Superintendent was not available but will be answering safety and security questions tomorrow at an event showcasing single point of entry procedures that will be in place at each county school.
Also at the school board meeting on Tuesday, there was a lot of discussion about video cameras going into all schools as a safety measure. But several board members brought up that the schools need dedicated employees to watch those cameras at all times for the devices to be effective.