Department of Justice Takes Action in Response to Broward County School Shooting
Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered his condolences and support for the people of Broward County, Florida yesterday. He also ordered the Department of Justice to assist the victims of the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as well as the state and local agencies that are leading the investigation.
The Attorney General offered the following statement:
“It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed. We see the tragic consequences of those failures.
“The FBI in conjunction with our state and local partners must act flawlessly to prevent all attacks. This is imperative, and we must do better. I have ordered the Deputy Attorney General to conduct an immediate review of our process here at the Department of Justice and FBI to ensure that we reach the highest level of prompt and effective response to indications of potential violence that come to us. This includes more than just an error review but also a review of how we respond. This will include possible consultation with family members, mental health officials, school officials, and local law enforcement.
“We will make this a top priority. It has never been more important to encourage every person in every community to spot the warning signs and alert law enforcement. Do not assume someone else will step up--all of us must be vigilant. Our children's lives depend on it.”
Following are some of the resources already deployed by the Department and available to assist with the state and local response:
- The FBI has approximately 250 personnel working on this matter, including personnel in Miami and at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
- The FBI’s Evidence Response Team is assisting in evidence collection and analysis and providing technical assistance with phone and social media investigation.
- The ATF dispatched 17 special agents from the Miami Field Division to assist at the scene, and these agents continue to support the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in follow-up investigation.
- 14 ATF agents from ATF’s West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce Field Offices were on stand-by to assist during the scene response, and are now supporting the follow-up investigation.
- ATF completed an urgent trace of a recovered firearm through its National Tracing Center.
- ATF assisted in ballistics analysis through its National Integrated Ballistics Information Network, conducted witness interviews, and canvassed area federal firearms licensees for information that may assist the investigation.
- Numerous components of the Department have made their victim-witness coordinators available for victim and witness assistance as needed.
- The U.S. Marshals Service has deployed eight personnel—four from the Florida/Caribbean Fugitive Task Force and four from the Southern District of Florida office. Additional personnel were staged and remain ready to respond if needed.
- U.S. Attorney Benjamin Greenberg remains in contact with the state prosecutor and Broward County Sheriff’s Office leadership and has made all federal resources available as needed.
- Three Assistant U.S. Attorneys are currently assisting with the investigation, and one is staffing the FBI Command Post.
- Through the Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program, the Office for Victims of Crime has funding available to support victim-assistance activities, such as crisis intervention and grief trauma counseling, and to reimburse victims for certain expenses related to the shooting.
- The Office for Victims of Crime and the Bureau of Justice Assistance stand ready to assist the state and local authorities.
This list should not be considered exhaustive. The Department of Justice will continue to do whatever it can to help the people of Florida at this difficult time.