Parkland, FL – The Florida state’s attorney released an interview with an unarmed security monitor from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who saw the gunman arrive on the day of the massacre (video below).
Andrew Medina’s recollection of the events of Feb. 14, and his detailed knowledge of the gunman, seemed to disprove any claims by school officials that they didn’t know the 19-year-old former student remained a threat.
The Broward State Attorney's Office released Medina's statement on Tuesday as part of the ongoing criminal case against the murderer, the Miami Herald reported.
Medina, a baseball coach at the school and an unarmed campus security monitor whose responsibilities included opening and closing the access gates to the campus, told police he recognized the gunman right away.
“I’m telling you I knew who the kid was because we had a meeting about him last year, and we said if there’s gonna be anybody who’s gonna come to this school and shoot this school up, it’s gonna be that kid because he had problems with everybody. Like all the security people. He was one of those kids who was rebellious,” he explained on the video, describing a book bag the student had carried that had “666” and swastikas on it.
“… They withdrew him out of school because he had issues… All the signs were there so they got rid of him,” Medina told detectives several hours after the former student went on a shooting spree that left 17 students and faculty dead, and another 17 wounded.
This information conflicts with school reports that denied that there was a meeting about Cruz.
The coach told detectives he was running his usual route in a golf cart, blocking off entrances with cones and opening gates for school buses in preparation for dismissal, when he saw the would-be shooter arrive in an Uber.
He said the gunman got out of a gold SUV and entered the campus through the bike gate. He was “bee-lining” for the 1200 Building on the Parkland high school’s campus as if he was on a mission, Media said.
“He looked back at me to see if I was there,” Medina told investigators. He said the gunman picked up his pace when he saw he was being watched.
In the video, he described how he radioed his counterpart, “Coach Taylor,” in the building where the former student was headed and told him that a suspicious person was headed his way.
Medina followed the shooter up toward the building, and said that when the former student saw his golf cart, he broke into a run and entered the building.
“He ran in and not even a minute after he was in, I heard the first bang. Like POW! … then I hear pop pop pop pop pop!” Medina described the beginning of the gunman’s rampage.
Medina said he jumped back in his golf cart and went to get the school resource officer, now-former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson.
In the video, Medina told detectives that when the deputy heard the shots, he said it wasn’t fireworks.
“After the first bang, I heard at least 15 bangs after that… three sessions of like five shots… it was kind of surreal to hear,” he told investigators.
“He put a gas mask on and threw a smoke bomb – that’s the first thing he did. They said that on the radio that they saw that on the cameras,” he said, explaining how he had that information.
“That s--t went on for 10 or 15 minutes. After that it was just the chaos,” Medina said.
When officers caught up with the shooter 30 minutes later, he said they took him to the spot where the teen was arrested so Medina could positively identify the killer for them.
Medina told detectives the former student had been a serious problem at the school and described some of his bizarre behavior.
“He’s had issues since he’s been at this school. He used to wear a fishing camo kind of mask and hide between poles… we had to talk to him and say you can’t be wearing masks in the school. You’re scaring people,” he said. “It was one of those kids that we always kept an eye on.”
The security monitor said that he knew the problem student was no longer attending the Parkland high school, and when he saw him walk on campus he thought to himself “that’s crazy boy.”
In the video, he said something inside him warned him not to approach the soon-to-be mass murderer, and to follow protocol “and report it like we’ve been trained.” He said the unarmed security monitors had been trained to lock themselves into a room inside the building in the event of an active shooter.
He explained the school had been training on how to deal with an active shooter for two weeks prior to the massacre, and had had a fire drill that very morning.
The baseball coach said he regretted not having tried to intervene and stop the gunman before he actually entered the building despite the fact that he was unarmed and would have been going against his training had he done so.
There has been much controversy over the Broward Sheriff's Office's handling of the mass-casualty incident on Valentine's Day.
The Florida attorney general has accused the sheriff's office of not being honest, and at least 74 lawmakers have called on Florida Governor Rick Scott to investigate. The Broward deputies union held a vote of no confidence and asked the governor to step in an suspend Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.
You can see the interview the security monitor in the aftermath of the massacre in the video below: