The school that suffered a mass shooting on Feb. 14 had an armed officer but that officer never encountered the shooter.
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman High School left 17 people dead and others wounded.
Nikolas Cruz was identified as the shooter.
Cruz, 19, was expelled from the school prior to the shooting.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said an armed officer was on the school campus at the time of the shooting but never encountered Cruz, reported WSB-TV.
“He was on campus and he was armed,” Israel said, according to the NY Daily News. “At this point, the only thing I can tell you definitively is he never encountered Cruz.”
Eventually, Cruz surrendered to law enforcement officials outside a nearby apartment complex.
According to the TC Palm, fewer officers are in schools because of budget constraints. For instance, many high schools only have one officer after previously having two each.
The officers, called resource officers, are in large part paid from a pool of money called Safe Schools that is earmarked each year.
The state’s 67 school districts share the $64.4 million dollars. The dollar amount has gone unchanged for seven years despite increasing costs.
“As long as you don’t have a catastrophic event, sometimes things like Safe Schools funding just have to take a back seat,” said Juhan Mixon, executive director of the Florida Association of School Administrators. “I guess the hope is we will continue to be safe.”
A number of groups have called for the money to be increased to try to prevent school shootings.
“The money … is nowhere near enough to do what’s necessary to keep schools safe,” Andy Tuck, a member of the state Board of Education, said at a July 17 meeting after a presentation from Mixon.