MSD High School Commission's First Meeting & Cruz Keeps Public Defender

posted by Joel Malkin -

A special commission assembled to review every detail of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting has had its first meeting.  

The group, which consists of law enforcement, community members and parents of some of the victims, got together yesterday to retrace accused killer Nikolas Cruz's steps and they'll make recommendations to prevent future tragedies in Broward or anywhere else in the state.  

One of the issues being looked at is how the fire alarm responded.  Smoke from the shooter's gun set it off, sending students into the halls and directly into danger.  It was initially thought that Cruz pulled the alarm.  

The commission is now looking for ways to make systems more sophisticated.  

The commission is chaired by the Sheriff of Pinellas County, Bob Gualtieri, who said there is video from within the school as well as recorded on students' cell phones, and "it's hard to watch."  

Parkland parents are trying to prevent that video from being released, but Gualtieri says the commission will review it privately and the video won't be played during any of their public meetings.

Also yesterday, a judge ruled that Cruz should continue to be represented in the death penalty case by a public defender at taxpayer expense.  

Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer said that Cruz has about $28,000 in assets, most of which he cannot immediately access, and that's not enough to hire a private attorney in a case of this magnitude.

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