Deputies to carry rifles at schools in county where Florida shooting happened

PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Tyra Heman (R) a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is hugged by Rachael Buto in front of the school where 17 people that were killed on February 14, on February 19, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The sheriff of the Florida county where a shooter killed 17 people at a high school last week has ordered all deputies who qualify to begin carrying rifles on school grounds.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a news conference Wednesday that the rifles will be locked in a patrol car when not in use until the agency secures gun locks and lockers.

The sheriff said the school district’s superintendent fully supports his decision.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High’s school resource office was carrying a weapon when the shooting happened last week but did not discharge his firearm. It’s unclear what role he played in trying to thwart the shooter and whether he was aware of suspect Nikolas Cruz’s past behavior at the school. The sheriff said those details are still being investigated.