A Broward Sheriff’s deputy assigned to protect the very building on the Parkland campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were shot and killed last month was suspended Tuesday for taking a nap in his patrol car.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office said Moises Carotti has been suspended with pay at least until an internal affairs investigation was completed. BSO said at just after 5 p.m. Monday a student notified another officer on campus that Carotti was sleeping in his car.
“The sergeant responded to the marked patrol vehicle, which was parked on the Northwest corner of the 1200 building,” BSO wrote in a press release Tuesday. “He knocked on the window to get Carotti’s attention, who appeared to be sleeping.”
BSO said after the commander in charge of the Parkland unit was notified, another officer was sent to replace Carotti. He had been patrolling the north perimeter of the 1200 building — the same building where 32 people were shot during a rampage last month.
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Carotti was ordered to turn in his badge, turn over his vehicle and inform internal affairs of his whereabouts twice a day.
On Feb. 14, former student Nikolas Cruz walked into the 1200 building and fired away at students with an AR-15 assault rifle. When he was done, 17 people were killed and 15 others were injured.
Cruz dropped his weapon and ammunition and managed to blend in with students racing to get out of the chaotic situation. He was captured about an hour later in a subdivision about a mile away. Broward state prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty.
The past two days have been tense for Stoneman Douglas students who are planning to march in unison with hundreds of thousands of others around the country next weekend, demanding new gun control measures and seeking a full-out ban on assault rifles like the one used at the Parkland high school.
On Monday, Cruz’s brother, Zachary Cruz, 18, was arrested and charged with trespassing on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas campus after ignoring repeated warnings not to skateboard there. He told police he wanted to “reflect on the shooting and soak it in.”
The younger Cruz’s bond was set at $500,000, a search for weapons was ordered at his home and he was told he had to wear an ankle monitor even if he was able to come up with the hefty bond.
Then Tuesday, two Stoneman Douglas students were arrested for carrying weapons on campus. One student was arrested after pulling a knife out of her bra after a lunchtime fight. The other was charged with displaying a knife on a bus a day earlier.
Also on Tuesday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott sent a letter to Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie and BSO Sheriff Scott Israel saying he met with parents of students at the high school who expressed a strong desire for more security.
The governor requested that “immediate action” be taken to place a law enforcement officer at every entry point into the Parkland high school. Scott said that if officers aren’t immediately available, the state will help in the interim.
“The state is willing to provide assistance from the Florida Highway Patrol until a more permanent safety plan can be put in place,” the governor said.