Parkland school shooting

Gun control advocates view 2018 as a turning point in their campaign to strengthen the country's gun laws.

They cite widespread success in passing laws through state legislatures. They're also buoyed by Democratic victories in the midterm elections, which flipped control of the House of Representatives. Another benchmark: In this election cycle, gun control groups outspent gun rights groups for the first time ever.

Broward County Sheriff's Office / AP

Ten months after the Parkland school shooting — and dogged by criticism of deputies who failed to immediately enter the building where a gunman killed 17 people — the Broward Sheriff’s Office plans to change the instructions it gives to deputies responding to an active shooting, according to an internal memo obtained by the Miami Herald.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission
Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

This post was updated with additional information at 5:20 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13.

The statewide commission investigating the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting released a draft of its long-awaited recommendations for school safety on Wednesday.

The 16-chapter draft report includes overhauling how schools secure individual classrooms and campus grounds. 

Amy Beth Bennett via AP pool / WLRN

Confessed Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz was back in Broward County court on Tuesday for routine proceedings as his defense team and state prosecutors prepare for his trial late next year.

Cruz sat between his lawyers in a red jail suit looking down throughout much of the hearing. He is facing the death penalty for murdering 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14. 

The case is headed to trial in September 2019. And lawyers are now reviewing investigation reports and interviewing dozens of witnesses who could testify during the trial.

Emily Michot / WLRN News

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School teachers and students separately protested the abrupt transfer of three administrators and a security guard as part of an ongoing investigation into mistakes leading up and following the Feb. 14 shooting that left 17 people dead on campus.

About 60 teachers stood in a line in front of the Parkland high school early Tuesday morning, some holding signs that read: "Who is this helping?" A few hours later, a few hundred students walked out of class and gathered in a park down the street, a few chanting, "Bring them back!"

Sam Turken / WLRN

Andrew Gillum called for "common sense gun reform" and deflected questions about fundraising with Broward County's embattled sheriff at a campaign stop on Friday in Plantation. 

The Democratic nominee for governor received an endorsement from the gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America after fundraising with Broward commissioners and county sheriff Scott Israel earlier in the morning. 

Peter Haden / WLRN

The state commission that’s investigating the Parkland school shooting discussed on Wednesday ways to improve school safety, agreeing that middle and high school campuses should always have at least one police officer present.

Elementary schools, however, could have an armed guardian instead of an officer or sheriff’s deputy, the panel decided. 

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission, which meets at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, is beginning to draft recommendations as part of its report that will serve as a statewide guide to advance school security. 

Before Lori Alhadeff ran for a seat on her local school board, she had no experience in politics. She didn't even consider herself a "political person," she says.

That changed when her daughter, Alyssa Alhadeff, died in the Parkland school shooting. In February, a former student killed 14-year-old Alyssa and 16 other people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Sam Turken / WLRN

A Broward County school board member says a recent comment she made about the 2017-18 school year was taken out of context. 

Parents of the victims of the Parkland school shooting claimed on Aug. 9 that board member Donna Korn recently said that last school year was the best Broward County has seen despite the massacre.

But in a release on Monday, Korn said soundbites of her statement from an interview during the State of the County address were cut short. She said her comment was actually praising the performance of Broward County's school principals. 

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission met Wednesday with Guy Grace, the director of security and emergency planning for Littleton Public Schools, the district that's home to Columbine High School. 

The commission continued their investigation on the events that led up to the February 14 mass shooting, what went wrong and what can be improved. They will meet Thursday as well. 

Taimy Alvarez/AP

Hours after he shot and killed 17 people at a Parkland high school, Nikolas Cruz sat in a Broward Sheriff’s police interrogation room. He was not defiant. Instead, he cast himself as a pathetic failure beset by a “demon” in his head.

Cruz spoke so softly a homicide detective could barely hear him. Cruz said he did not “deserve” a bottle of cold water offered by police. When a detective left the room, Cruz muttered to himself: “Kill me. Just f***ing kill me” and “I want to die.” He repeatedly called himself “stupid” and “lonely” and told police his family “would make me feel bad.”

Taimy Alvarez / Sun-Sentinel

A circuit judge ruled Friday that the Parkland school shooter’s education records should be made public.

Lawyers for 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz had attempted to block the release of the records, saying that making them public violated Cruz’s privacy rights and could affect his right to a fair trial.

Cruz’s attorney, Special Assistant Public Defender David Frankel, said releasing this report was only “self-serving” to the school district. 

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Young people are on their way to becoming a greater share of the electorate in wake of the Parkland school shooting, according to a new data analysis. 

The Democratic data firm TargetSmart found that the share of new registrations by people under 30 is up eight percent in Florida and two percent nationally since the Feb. 14 mass shooting. 

The Florida high school where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting is getting a therapy dog to help students who need emotional support.

NRA Lobbyist Files Lawsuits Over 'Hate And Vitriol'

Jul 13, 2018
KRT/Newscom

Marion Hammer, the National Rifle Association’s influential Tallahassee lobbyist, filed federal and state lawsuits Friday seeking more than $2 million in damages from five men she says have targeted her over her Second Amendment advocacy following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

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