Broward County, FL – A Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) deputy who failed to respond appropriately during the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has been put on restricted duty and is under investigation.
The decision to put 50-year-old BSO Deputy Josh Stambaugh on restricted duty came after the state Parkland shooting commission told BSO to investigate the response of every member of their department who arrived at the high school in time to hear gunfire, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The internal investigation determined that Deputy Stambaugh, a 24-year veteran of the agency, responded to the report of shots fired from an off-duty job at another school nearby.
Deputy Stambaugh’s bodycam footage revealed that he arrived on the scene while the shooter was still active, and that he was able to hear multiple gunshots as he dressed in his ballistic vest.
It also showed that he took cover behind his vehicle for about five minutes and did not go after the shooter, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Then the deputy got back in his police vehicle and drove up to a highway that overlooked the school’s campus and took up a position there.
“I could see the whole side of the school and I had binoculars,” Deputy Stambaugh said in a sworn statement. “So, if he was anywhere in that school, on the stairwells, I could, you know, get vision of it and I can advise on the radio.”
Deputy Stambaugh is the third BSO deputy to be investigated in conjunction with his performance at the school shooting scene on Feb. 14, 2018.
Two other deputies whose actions were criticized have retired from the department, including School Resource Officer Scot Peterson.
Peterson was the only armed person on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last Valentine’s Day when a former student opened fire and fatally shot 17 students and faculty, and wounded 17 more.
He initially took hero credit for being on the scene, then later resigned in disgrace after surveillance cameras revealed he’d hidden outside the 1200 Building while the gunman was still inside killing students.
The Sun Sentinel said it was unclear as to why BSO had waited so long to initiate an investigation into Deputy Stambaugh’s response, given that all of his actions were captured on his own bodycam video.
A document outlining the investigation said that Deputy Stambaugh was facing allegations of neglect of duty-unsatisfactory performance and not meeting sheriff’s office standards.
“While on restricted administrative assignment, you will surrender your BSO ID card, any other symbol of authority, and any BSO issued weapons,” the letter read, according to WPLG. “In addition, you are precluded from driving any BSO vehicle. You are prohibited from entering any BSO facility, except where assigned, without the approval of Internal Affairs.”
An interview with state investigators revealed the Deputy Stambaugh couldn’t remember the last time BSO had put him through active-shooter training, the Sun Sentinel reported.
However, BSO records indicated that Deputy Stambaugh had received active-shooter training in February of 2016.
“It was obvious Stambaugh had no recollection of his active shooter training in 2016,” the state commission found, according to WPLG.