Former Los Angeles Police Department Detective Mark Fuhrman said Wednesday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” that the U.S. must “make school security a specialty” for law enforcement officials, following the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, earlier in the day.
Former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, who is in custody, is suspected of gunning down and killing at least 17 victims at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County on Wednesday afternoon, in one of the nation’s deadliest shootings. As the stunned nation comes to grips with this latest tragedy, Fuhrman urged law enforcement officials to specialize in school shooting prevention tactics, among other strategies.
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“I think you need to make school security a specialty. You need to make it a specialty just like terrorism,” Fuhrman (pictured above left) told host Laura Ingraham. “You need to have young officers that are motivated in the beginning of their career, that are sharp, and that are actually really dedicated to the long range of being in this type of profession in school security.”
Fuhrman added, “Our youth are some of the most important people in the country. And yet it seems that we secure them the least.”
Eyewitnesses told Ingraham and other news outlets that Cruz was a social pariah who had been expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons, and that he had made other students uncomfortable, apparently, with violent and sexually suggestive comments.
“Given that they knew all this about him — I’m not saying they should have known he was going to shoot — [but] are there any interventions that you can do, either at the home, with him, that could have prevented this?” Ingraham asked her guests.
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Randy Sutton, a retired field lieutenant with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, said the nation would soon discover “that there would a number of key factors that would have warned … sent red flags up all over the place.”
“Nothing happens in a vacuum. There were people that already have spoken that knew that this guy had predilections for violence,” said Sutton (pictured above right). “He was showing basically, I think, his cards in advance.”
Although Sutton noted that the U.S. “can’t make these schools into a prison,” he said that federal and local law enforcement agencies can “target-harden” the schools.
“There was a very wise man who once said, ‘If it’s predictable, it’s preventable.’ And unfortunately we have now found that school shootings are predictable,” Sutton said. “So we have to discover the ways that we can target-harden these schools.”
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Sutton credited the high school with enacting emergency protocols and lockdown procedures during the shooting, saying, “Because of the training, many, many lives were saved.”
“So that’s a positive. But we have to look at a way to prevent what is predictable,” Sutton added.
Noting that many public schools “have grappled with security in a lot of ways” and have “come up with a lot of scenarios for lockdown procedures,” Fuhrman urged the nation to “look at the things that are coming up” and look past politicized responses to mass shootings.
“Once again, gun control comes up. Once again, mental illness,” Fuhrman said. “We’re not going to stop mental illness. We’re not going to get rid of the Second Amendment. But we can harden the target.”
He added, “We can lock down schools. We can have some type of electronic admission. We can have metal detectors. We can make the kids safe so the shooter just can’t walk into the school anytime he pleases. And that’s what happens every single time in one of these shootings.”
“I don’t want this just to be something that people forget.”
David Hogg, a student at Marjory Stoneman who was present during the school’s lockdown amid the active shooting, told Ingraham on Wednesday night, “I don’t want this to be another mass shooting.”
“I don’t want this just to be something that people forget. This is something that people need to look at and realize that there is a serious issue in this country that we all need to fix,” Hogg said. “It’s an issue that affects each and every one of us. And if you think it doesn’t, believe me, it will — especially if we don’t take action and step up and stop things like that.”
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PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.
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