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Confessed-Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz has been officially indicted by a Florida grand jury, the Broward State Attorney’s office announced in a statement Wednesday.

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

A 14-year-old girl has been arrested on a felony charge after allegedly writing a threatening message on a bathroom wall at her middle school. Nearly half the students stayed home on Friday after the message appeared and a picture of a boy with a gun circulated on social media.

Hafsa Quraishi / WUSF Public Media

Governor Rick Scott outlined his recently unveiled safety plan at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Wednesday. The proposed $500 million plan calls for new laws that keep guns from mentally ill people and improve school safety, among other measures.

The move comes in response to the school shooting in Parkland two weeks ago that killed 17 people. 

While lawmakers and activists in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., furiously debate gun control, deputies in Broward County will be adding firepower to deal with the threat of school shooters, effective immediatelty.

Broward’s top cop on Wednesday said that deputies assigned to school campuses will now be allowed to carry rifles on school grounds.

“Rifles from this point forward,” Broward Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, adding: “We need to be able to defeat any threat on campus.”

A group of law enforcement officials from across the state is looking into putting prevention methods in place to avoid another mass school shooting.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

Following the deadly school shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, President Trump is directing the Department of Justice to develop regulations to ban bump stocks.

"Just a few moments ago I signed a memorandum directing the AG to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized, Jeff, very soon," Trump said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

A bill allowing certain Florida officials to make announced and unannounced visits to the state’s juvenile justice facilities is now heading to the House floor.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

A vigil and rally against gun violence was held in St. Petersburg's Williams Park Saturday night in response to the mass shooting in Broward County.

Chelsea Beck/NPR

President Trump is speaking for the first time about the shooting at a high school in South Florida that left at least 17 people dead. Watch here for a live feed of the President's remarks.

WUSF and NPR will be having continuing coverage here and on WUSF 89.7

A shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County Wednesday afternoon has resulted in 17 deaths. This is the 18th school shooting in the United States this year, and it happened in what the National Council for Home Safety and Security called the safest city in Florida last year.


Florida Sheriff's Association

You never know who you're talking to on social media today. What may be surprising is who some of these online impersonators choose to be.

One internet scammer’s attempt to impersonate Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco was extinguished after a tip was sent to the Sheriff's office.

Courtesy Florida Forest Service

Forestry officials say a suspected serial arsonist may be behind dozens of wildfires in Sarasota and Charlotte counties.

Already, the Florida Supreme Court has rejected more than three dozen appeals involving death row inmates, who received their sentences before 2002 and did not require unanimous juries. A panel of Florida lawmakers is now trying again to make a fix to that part of the state’s death penalty process.

If Florida lawmakers don’t do anything policy wise soon, the state’s prison population could increase. That’s according to a report commissioned by the Florida Senate to promote the need for prison reform.

Florida lawmakers are working to create a centralized location for criminal justice data statewide.

A new report paid for and released by the Florida Senate finds that while the state is sending fewer people to prison than in the past, those who end up behind bars are staying there for a longer time.

The study from the Crime and Justice Institute based in Boston says there are nearly 100,000 inmates housed in Florida prisons, and the per capita incarceration rate in the state is more than 20 percent higher than the national average.

Florida Senators have approved a measure closing a loophole that allows child marriage. The bill is being called historic. If the proposal passes the full legislature, the group, Human Rights Watch, says it will be the first of its kind in the country.

About $5 million separates the Florida House and Senate’s criminal justice budget. But, while there are some differences, there are areas where both chambers agree.

Children removed from their parents due to alleged abuse or neglect would have the right to have a lawyer under a measure before the Florida Constitution Revision Commission. Some worry that could do more harm than good.

An autopsy is being performed on 29-year-old man who died in a Pinellas County jail.

Axion23 (Wikimedia Commons)

The owner of a $300,000 Ferrari is suing Marriott International, saying a hotel valet gave his keys to a young man who was trying to impress a woman he just met.

When a family loses a loved one, Lori Hadley-Davis walks them through the delicate and detailed process of preparing for the funeral.

Will the family choose a burial or cremation? What about flowers or a poem for the  funeral program? And when the deceased was killed by gun violence, it usually prompts an unasked question: “Do we need the police there?”

Hadley-Davis, a mortician and owner of  Hadley Davis Funeral homes, says for nearly all of the funerals she’s planned for homicide victims in recent years, that answer is yes.  

State Attorney Andrew Warren has decided he will seek the death penalty for the man accused of murdering four people in Seminole Heights.

Julio Ochoa / WUSF Public Media

A new partnership will allow sheriffs from around the state to legally hold undocumented criminals for up to 48 hours so they can be deported.

Florida lawmakers are already moving forward a bill to reform the state’s juvenile justice system. The measure aims to address abuses within the system outlined in a Miami Herald investigative series.

New Port Richey Fire Rescue

A female passenger has died hours after a casino boat caught fire off Pasco County, forcing her and about 50 other passengers and crew to jump into the chilly waters to escape.

Shortly after lawmakers gavel in the 2018 session they’ll start working on measures in committee.  A Senate Criminal Justice panel will take up a raft of reforms including Sen. Randolph Bracy’s (D- Ocoee) bill raising the threshold for felony theft.

Emergency_Vehicles / Flickr

Two Pinellas County Sheriff deputies have been treated for minor injuries after being rear-ended in separate accidents while on duty.

Florida Department of Juvenile Justice

Despite more than doubling in population, Florida had the fewest number of juvenile arrests last fiscal year since it began keeping statistics 42 years ago.

A quartet of Tallahassee law students has been advocating two changes to Florida’s Constitution. The Constitution Revision Commission is now weighing those among hundreds of other public proposals.

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