Newly obtained records show that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office visited the home of the Florida school shooter at least 45 times.
Responding to criticism, the sheriff’s office recently claimed it had only responded to 23 calls over the years.
But records obtained by BuzzFeed show at least 45 responses in the last decade.
That means the number of calls involving Nikolas Cruz or his family is near twice the number claimed by the department.
“Since 2008, BSO responded to 23 incidents where previous contact was made with the killer or his family,” the sheriff’s office said in its statement. “STOP REPORTING 39; IT’S SIMPLY NOT TRUE.”
Scott Israel, the county sheriff, also said in a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott that Bill Hager, a Florida legislator, was making the false claim.
“Mr. Hager’s claim of ’39 visits by’ BSO deputies is simply fiction,” Israel wrote in his letter to Scott.
The new number comes after it was revealed that three sheriff’s deputies and a uniformed resource officer stood outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14 as Cruz rampaged inside, ultimately killing 17 people.
Officers from nearby Coral Springs were outraged when they arrived on the scene amid the crisis and found that the four officers hadn’t entered the school, sources told CNN. The specifics are expected to be published in a report this week.
The calls to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office included a tipster calling the officer saying Cruz “could be a school shooter in the making,” reported The Miami Herald.
Another call came from a relative who urged officers to seize Cruz’s weapon.
Another call prompted a deputy to investigate a report that Cruz “planned to shoot up the school.”
BuzzFeed noted that most of the calls involved domestic disturbance issues featuring Cruz or his younger brother Zachary.
Scot Peterson, 54, was suspended without pay before resigning and retiring. He was the resource officer who did not enter the school during the shooting.
Two other deputies have been placed on restricted duty while Internal Affairs investigates how they handled the two warnings specifically regarding Cruz potentially launching a school shooting.
Israel slammed Peterson but refused to take responsibility for the failures of Peterson and other officers involved.
“I’m completely disgusted,” Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine, a former mayor of Parkland whose daughter attends Stoneman Douglas, told the Herald. “There is nobody in authority talking to each other and every organization that had a chance to stop this completely failed our children from top to bottom.”