Sheriff Says Armed Staff Could Have Stopped Parkland Killer

Getty Images via PBS News Hour

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has no great love for civilians with guns. In fact, at one time, he threatened to shoot first and ask questions later when it came to concealed carry licensees. So imagine the surprise when he says armed staff could have taken down the Parkland high school killer. In fact, Gualtieri revealed that the killer had to pause in the rampage several times to reload as he used neutered, five-round magazines in the attack.

Gualtieri headed up the Florida state investigation into the Parkland massacre. In a series of tweetsNew York Times editor Patricia Mazzei dropped some bombshells.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County, head of Florida’s state-appointed commission investigating the Parkland shooting, said today that video from inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School showed the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, had to reload his AR-15 assault rifle several times.

“There were several other times when he was in that school that his gun was empty,” the sheriff said, noting that the rifle had a six-round magazine. A reload break allowed a teacher on the third floor of the freshman building to move students away to safety, he said.

“If he had somebody in there with a gun, they could have mitigated this,” the sheriff said. “There were opportunities for staff to have intervened if they had been armed.”

So not only did Gualtieri acknowledge that armed school staff could have intervened and saved lives, but a New York Times editor actually repeated that on her Twitter feed. We will simply have to wait to see if this makes it onto the Times’ front page or if they bury it back by the obituaries. Assuming they print it at all.

Armed teachers can save lives. Innocent lives. So can resource officers who do not cower outside the school. Or well-armed and -armored deputies who don’t hide behind their squad cars in the parking lot.

Of course, the gun control movement will try to spin this as a reason why we need new laws limiting magazine capacity to five rounds or less. And so it goes.


  1. avatar Bloving says:

    Or another Wolf who would prefer the Sheep remain helpless?
    Tough call… but a badge does not a Sheepdog make.

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    Even a stopped clock…

    1. avatar Rocketman says:

      You nailed it. When the school shootings started about 8-10 years ago, I suggested that in the principals office there should be a gun locker with at least 3 12 gauge shotguns in it and loaded with beanbags rounds in each gun. If a school shooting took place a qualified teacher could go to the locker, punch in the combination and access one of the guns. There also could be a small bag loaded with buckshot as well if it came to that. At the end of the school year the police could take up the guns till the school reopened for the next year.

  3. avatar Model 31 says:

    Is it election season already?

    1. avatar Just Sayin says:

      ^I smelled the same stench when I read the tease headline for this article.

  4. avatar Brewski says:

    How does that guy still have a badge?

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the Bull, get the Horns" PR says:

      “How does that guy still have a badge?”


      He’s the sheriff of Pinellas County, a county that votes consistent Blue in elections…

    2. avatar Sian says:

      Coward county Sheriff Israel still has a badge.

      This defies explanation.

      1. avatar Raoul Duke says:

        No it doesn’t, he’s a Democrat.

        He could be literally found guilty of murder and still have his job. Demtards get away with everything.

        If he was a Republican his badge would be gone and in jail so fast your head would spin!

  5. avatar Gunr says:

    He used “neutered” 5 round magazines.
    I just came back from the Urologist an hour ago.
    That cracked me up!

  6. avatar el Possum guapo says:

    “had to pause several times in the rampage to reload” the sheriff said…. tic toc, tic toc

  7. avatar Baldwin says:

    Ever have one of those times when you said something out loud that you would have been better off just saying in your head? This Sheriff will NEVER admit to saying this…even after the video playback. It doesn’t fit his agenda.

  8. avatar MarkPA says:

    So, 6 rounds. (More likely 5 + 1 which is still a 5-round magazine.) Will a 6-round limit make kids safe? Or, will we need to ban the “New York Reload” as well? ‘OK, young man, you only have a single six-shooter; so, be on your way. Be safe, ya’hear!”

    The facts remain, one with a modicum of practice can re-load a single-shot bolt action quickly enough to sustain a rate-of-fire typical of most mass shootings. Once that fact is acknowledged, even a 0-round maximum capacity magazine won’t make much of a difference. It would help in some isolated cases such as Las Vegas, but not a substantial improvement over that of any repeater.

  9. avatar CZJay says:

    Of course magazine capacity limits don’t work for gun free zone shootings. The only thing that works in such a scenario is armed resistance. Hence why anti gun people refuse to allow school staff to exercise their rights at work.

    You could say that magazine capacity limits don’t have much of an effect on mass killings in gun free zones because they have all the time to reload they need. Capacity limits are a major negative for defending yourself in scenarios like a home invasion by multiple attackers as you have various people coming for you at the same time.

    1. avatar Son Of Alan says:

      Yes, I have not yet known of a mass shooting that was not planned. These are not spur of the moment, just because I had a gun on me and 10 rounds and got angry. Any restriction 10 round or 5 round magazines, single shot weapons will be overcome by planning.

      1. avatar CC says:

        Yes. The perp in a shooting, whether it be a home invasion or mass shooting, is less constrained/harmed by magazine capacity restrictions than the armed defender/victim.
        The perps have the advantage of surprise and planning, in the case of large mass shootings, virtually always meticulous planning. they can have dozens of spare mags, practice with them, etc. In a home invasion it is often the case that there are two armed perps. It is the victim that awakened, and grabbing his/her firearm in the night and likely not grabbing a spare mag.

  10. avatar Steve B says:

    I think somebody made a typo: “If he had somebody in there with a gun, they could have mitigated this,” the sheriff said. “There were opportunities for staff to have intervened if they had been armed.” I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to read “If we had somebody in there with a gun.”

    1. avatar Corodon says:

      That would be more in character for someone with Gualteri’s record, but consider the rest of the quote. If you change “he” to “we” then the “staff” that he’s referring to are sheriff department staff, not school staff. But then the statement that such staff could have mitigated the shooting “if they had been armed” makes no sense.

  11. avatar Jeff O. says:

    Yes, if only there had been some sort of SRO also present, as we know only trained professionals can handle situations, who could have charged in and saved the day.

  12. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    If I was a teacher I would try and carry as much ammunition on my person as possible. A school is the one place were a shooter brings as much ammo as they can carry. You can’t rely on the SRO or any cop to come and save school children.

    1. avatar CC says:

      in my jurisdiction, the cops have to carry, at a minimum, 17+1 and 2×17 spares =52.

      Defenders, be they cops or civilian, home owners or armed teachers/staff are the ones who require more rounds

  13. avatar joefoam says:

    Well duh, yes an armed person could have stopped the carnage. But first they have to be willing unlike the two armed officers, one who hid in a closet and one who hid outside the building.

  14. avatar Icabod says:

    The answer is simple. Brave, armed men run to the sound of guns. They don’t hide or duck behind cars “awaiting orders.”

  15. avatar David Keith says:

    No one would have been armed in that school with the shit police department in that town. Thinking about ,”what if” concerning Parkland is a waste of time.

  16. avatar Dr Ron Polland says:

    My question is, “WHAT AR-15 ASSAULT RIFLE?”

    There has never been a photo published of the gun allegedly used at Parkland. Hell, I filed an FOIA to get a copy of the photo (if one exists) back in March and they still have not sent one to me.

    Maybe I should ask Sheriff Bob Gualtieri to send me one because it looks like the Broward County Sheriff’s Office will continue to stonewall me on it.

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