Commission developed after Parkland shooting meets for first time

Law enforcement officials, fathers of victims sit on commission

PARKLAND, Fla. – A commission tasked with investigating mistakes that led to the Parkland school massacre met for the first time on Tuesday.

The 16-person committee was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Senate President Joe Negron and House Speaker Richard Corcoran.

Members of the commission include law enforcement, politicians, educators, mental health professionals and three fathers of children killed in the Feb. 14 shooting.

"I think it would be remiss for us to not take into account all the other horrible mass killing incidents around the country," Parkland victim Alex Schachter's father, Max Schachter, said.

Tuesday morning, the Broward County Sheriff's Office presented a timeline of when investigators said Nikolas Cruz, 19, entered the school armed with an AR-15 and 300 rounds of ammunition.

Pinellas County Sheriff and Commission Chair Bob Gualtieri discussed the communication issues between BSO and Coral Springs Police, who were also responding to the shooting.

"You had commanders that were going to radio to radio (and) trying to get on the radio and do something, but they couldn't do it because the radio system didn't work," Gualtieri said.

Security on campus was also discussed by the committee, whose members learned that locking doors was an issue on the day of the shooting.

"In order for a teacher who's hunkered down in a classroom to make a decision to lock a door once it went into code red, the teacher had to go out into the hallway and take a key and try to lock the door. That's messed up," Gualtieri said.

After the committee's morning session, members were scheduled to travel to the school shooting site in a session closed to the public.

The commission is authorized to meet through 2023 and will schedule several more meetings through the end of the year.

The deadline for the commission's first report to the governor is Jan. 1, 2019.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.