Parkland school shooting: Former officer testifies at ex-colleague’s trial

Image copyright Alexander Barrera/Twitter Image caption Alexander Barrera says he was the officer on duty the day Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people A former Florida police officer has given evidence at the court appearance…

Parkland school shooting: Former officer testifies at ex-colleague's trial

Image copyright Alexander Barrera/Twitter Image caption Alexander Barrera says he was the officer on duty the day Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people

A former Florida police officer has given evidence at the court appearance of his former colleague, accused of murdering 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.

Alexander Barrera resigned from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office after he was accused of lying about his involvement in the attack.

Mr Barrera’s testimony comes two days before the second-degree murder trial of former police officer Nikolas Cruz.

Mr Cruz, 19, has admitted murdering 17 people.

The defence claim Mr Cruz did not mean to kill anyone.

While on the stand, Mr Barrera admitted he was not the officer who shot Mr Cruz, but said he had an “excessive reaction”.

“When he was younger, he had a temper,” said Mr Barrera.

“I had an adrenaline rush, I reacted the way I would be directed to react.

“All the other officers were positioned around him in fire control [the gun range] and I ordered him to walk towards me,” he continued.

“It was like shouting into a megaphone,” said Mr Barrera.

Image copyright ESO/Nikolas Cruz

Mr Barrera said he wore a protective vest for his own safety.

The sheriff’s office initially faced criticism over its response to the attack, and in April, an officer at an elementary school that was directly outside the high school was investigated for possibly leaking information about the attack to the media.

Ferguson Garner III, a former employee at school safety firm Core Security, has been questioned by the FBI and Florida governor Rick Scott about his involvement in disseminating information about the attack to the media.

Another employee at the school, Andrew Medina, was fired after the FBI was accused of mishandling the investigation.

Image copyright ESO/Nikolas Cruz

Florida Governor Rick Scott had previously called for an investigation of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office over the attack.

The police have said they believe there may have been a delay between reports of the attack and the dispatch of an officer.

The FBI has said it will be looking at communication breakdowns between the authorities and investigators over that response.

Leave a Comment