Three Broward sheriff's deputies remained outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when they could have gone inside the freshman building, where 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and wounded six others, two law enforcement sources told NBC.
The reason the deputies stayed outside is unclear.
The Coral Springs Police Department, which also responded to the shooting, lodged the claims against the three Broward deputies. In a letter posted to social media Saturday night, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel stressed that the "claim" is being investigated, but he did not confirm the information.
"Stop reporting it as fact," Israel wrote. "There is no confirmation, at this time, other deputies did not enter the school when they should have," Israel added, referring to Scot Peterson, the school’s resource officer who allegedly waited outside while havoc erupted within. "Agan, it's a claim being investigated to determine if further action is warranted."
In a statement, the Coral Springs Police Department said they have yet to officially comment on the allegations.
“The Coral Springs Police Department is aware of media reports published regarding Broward Sheriff’s Deputies who responded to the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018,” the statement read. “The Coral Springs Police Department has not made any official statements to media regarding these allegations as it is still an open and active investigation being handled by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.”
The department continued to say there were numerous deputies and officers who responded to the incident, “whose actions were nothing short of heroic.”
"Investigators will not be rushed or asked to jump to conclusions," Israel said. "It is more important for us to wait and let investigators get it right, even if some media outlets are getting it wrong."
The claims come after the Broward Sheriff's office said it is also investigating Peterson's actions during the shooting. Peterson resigned Thursday after Sheriff Scott Israel suspended him without pay, and Israel said he is looking into why Peterson did not do what he was trained to do: enter the building and confront an active school shooter.
According to student Brandon Huff, Peterson “was just standing there,” pointing his firearm toward the building where Cruz was committing mass murder.
Huff said he sprinted to the freshman building after receiving a text message from his girlfriend, who told him there was a shooter in the building. When he got there, he saw Peterson with his gun.
“I thought he was aiming it at somebody and you could hear gunshots going off in the building, the freshman building, over and over,” he said.