BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Two more deputies from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office were fired last week for “neglect of duty” during their response to the deadly Parkland school shooting last year.
Sheriff Gregory Tony announced that the law enforcement officials were terminated following an internal affairs investigation surrounding the department’s handling of the active shooter scenario.
Deputies Edward Eason and Josh Stambaugh were identified as the terminated employees. They join the list of officers who were fired due to their alleged failure to appropriately react in a life-threatening situation. Deputy Scot Peterson and Sgt. Brian Miller were both fired at the beginning of June.
Sheriff Scott Israel was also removed from his position by Governor DeSantis.
“This was neglect of duty, and it was one of the most severe consequences as we lost 17 people,” Tony said about the terminated deputies.
So what actions led to their decision?
Stambaugh reportedly failed to run toward gunshots on multiple occasions to stop the shooter, according to the report.
“Stambaugh appeared to take cover over assisting deputies entering a possible hot zone,” the report noted based on videos from his body-worn camera. Stambaugh reportedly told an officer from the Coral Springs Police Department who was the building where the shots were being fired to “watch yourself” as he remained behind cover.
As for Deputy Eason, the report shows that he provided conflicting statements to investigators. It also claimed that instead of responding to the gunshots at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, he went to nearby Westglades Middle to put the school on lockdown. But during that time, Eason “never transmitted his actions,” and reportedly took nearly 20 minutes to check the doors to see if it was appropriately secured.
And not only that, Eason was also being investigated for his failure to report a 2016 tip that Nikolas Cruz had been making online threats about shooting up the school.
Other employees of the force were reportedly being investigated because of the incident, but accusations against those officers were found to be “non-sustained” and they will return to duty, Tony said.
These officers failed to “take timely action on the occasion of a crime when gunshots were heard in Building 12 or attempt to locate and confront the active shooter or determine the source of the gunshots.”
The investigation resulted in the firings Tuesday of Joshua Stambaugh and Edward Eason for “neglect of duty” during the shooting. Two other deputies, including Scot Peterson, had already been fired. https://t.co/HxFFxeLdW2 from @SamZTurken
— Madeline Fox (@maddycfox) June 26, 2019
Fox News reported that Cruz, 20, faces the death penalty if convicted in the shootings. His lawyers have said he will plead guilty in return for a life prison sentence but prosecutors have rejected that offer.