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Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaks to the media while Florida Governor Rick Scott listens outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one day after a shooting at the school left 17 dead, in Parkland, Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake - RC1AB3EA6CF0

Florida sheriff orders deputies to carry rifles on school grounds in wake of shooting

The sheriff of the Florida county where a shooter killed 17 people at a high school last week has ordered all deputies who qualify to begin carrying rifles on school grounds.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a news conference Wednesday that the rifles will be locked in a patrol car when not in use until the agency secures gun locks and lockers.

The sheriff said the school district’s superintendent fully supports his decision.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High’s school resource office was carrying a weapon when the shooting happened last week but did not discharge his firearm. It’s unclear what role he played in trying to thwart the shooter and whether he was aware of suspect Nikolas Cruz’s past behavior at the school. The sheriff said those details are still being investigated.

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