As critics have taken aim at law enforcement for missing warning signs about South Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz, public records have emerged that conflict with Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel’s statements about the number of times deputies were dispatched to the shooter’s home.
Records obtained from the sheriff’s office by CNN show the law enforcement agency received at least 45 calls for service relating to Cruz or his brother from 2008 to 2017, before the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14. The sheriff’s office has insisted it received no more than 23 calls for service regarding Cruz or his family.
CNN has repeatedly asked the sheriff’s office to explain the discrepancy, sending emails and attempting to reach an agency representative by phone. The agency has not responded to those requests with an explanation.
On Feb. 15, CNN received a Broward County Sheriff’s Office log based on a public records request showing 39 calls from Cruz’s house over a six-year period. During CNN’s town hall on the Parkland school shooting last Wednesday, NRA representative Dana Loesch confronted Sheriff Israel about those 39 calls, though she inaccurately described them as being 39 visits from police in one year.
The next day, at a press conference in the wake of growing public criticism, Israel said his agency “has been involved in 23 type calls involving the killer in some way, shape or form — or his brother.”
On Saturday, the sheriff’s office reiterated that lower figure, releasing this public statement: “Since 2008, BSO responded to 23 incidents where previous contact was made with the killer or his family. STOP REPORTING 39; IT’S SIMPLY NOT TRUE.” That day, he made the same claim in a letter to the governor.
However, based on logs of the original calls and additional records since obtained from the agency, CNN has found that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office actually received 45 calls in the past decade related to the Cruz home, Nikolas Cruz or his brother — even more than previously thought.
The documents in question include call logs from the law enforcement agency’s “computer aided dispatch” system. The records list police calls from the home at 6166 Northwest 80th Terrace in Parkland, Florida, which was the home owned by Nikolas Cruz’s mother during that time period, according to property deeds.