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The state commission investigating the Parkland school shooting has conducted 300 witness interviews so far. But there's at least one more high profile witness to go: former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resource officer Scot Peterson. 

Before Lori Alhadeff ran for a seat on her local school board, she had no experience in politics. She didn't even consider herself a "political person," she says.

That changed when her daughter, Alyssa Alhadeff, died in the Parkland school shooting. In February, a former student killed 14-year-old Alyssa and 16 other people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The state commission investigating the Florida school massacre will discuss improving campus safety and hear about education and health privacy laws.

Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz told a detective that a demon in his head — "the evil side" — told him to burn, kill and destroy, and that he thought about going to a park to kill people about a week before 17 people were gunned down at the school, according to a recently released transcript of his interrogation.

Prosecutors have released three cellphone videos recorded by Nikolas Cruz, in which he described his plans for the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Some of the videos appear to have been recorded the day of the shooting.

Publix Super Markets

Publix announced on its corporate website Friday that they are going to “suspend corporate-funded political contributions as we re-evaluate our giving processes.”

Polk County Sheriff's Office / Facebook Live video

Many Tampa Bay area law enforcement agencies are acting in what officials call an abundance of caution by increasing their presence in and around schools in the final days of the school year. 

Updated at 10:45 p.m. ET

At least 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire inside a small-town Texas high school, in what Gov. Greg Abbott called "probably the worst disaster ever to strike this community."

Ten others were wounded in the morning attack at Santa Fe High School.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

St. Petersburg will not take 29 police officers off the street and place them in elementary schools. The city – following suit with Hillsborough and Pinellas counties - will instead hire armed security guards.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

In response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that killed 17 people, Florida lawmakers passed a law in March requiring all schools in the state to have at least one armed and trained law enforcement officer or "school guardian."

JESSICA BAKEMAN / WLRN

On the afternoon of Feb. 14, Fawn Patterson got a call from her daughter telling her to come to the hospital.


Amanda Ray Carrillo was pregnant with her fifth child, and she was bleeding. She’d been admitted to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale the day before but hadn’t gotten answers yet about what was wrong. She wanted her mom to be there when the doctor came to explain.

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Panic and fear gripped an Ocala school Friday when a gunman opened fire, wounding one student before being taken into custody on a day planned for a national classroom walkout to protest gun violence, authorities said.

Armed security officers are becoming more prevalent at America's schools, according to a federal study released Thursday amid a heated debate over whether teachers and other school officials should carry guns.

Nikolas Cruz was back in a Broward County courtroom Wednesday in front of Circuit Court Judge Elizabeth Scherer. 

With his head down, Cruz sat silent throughout his appearance.

He was indicted by a grand jury last week on 17 charges of premeditated first-degree murder and 17 charges of attempted first-degree murder. Cruz's legal team told the judge that he didn't need to hear his charges read aloud because he already understood them. 

Only 15-year-old victim Luke Hoyer's name was read out loud in the courtroom. 

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

The deadly high school shooting in Parkland has people across the nation talking about how to make schools safer. Dozens of Tampa Bay residents and community leaders shared their thoughts on the issue at a recent town hall hosted by the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists.

This week on Florida Matters we’ll hear highlights from the event.


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This week's Florida Matters features highlights from a recent town hall meeting in Tampa about school safety. The discussion took place in the wake of the school shootings at a high school in Parkland, and focused mainly on violence and gun control. 

The political and legal fallout from Florida Gov. Rick Scott's decision to sign a sweeping gun bill into law following a school massacre was nearly immediate as the National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit to stop it and political candidates in both parties criticized it.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

The National Rifle Association has filed a federal lawsuit over gun control legislation Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed, saying it violates the Second Amendment by raising the age to buy guns from 18 to 21.

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed legislation tightening gun restrictions in the state. Among other things, the legislation raises the legal age for gun purchases to 21, institutes a waiting period of three days, and allows for the arming of school personnel who are not full-time teachers.

In a statement, Scott's office highlights mental health provisions in the bill:

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Community leaders talked about putting an end to school violence at a town hall in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood Thursday night. The Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists hosted the event in response to the Parkland shooting last month that left 17 people dead.


Three weeks after the Parkland high school shooting, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has a gun-control bill on his desk that challenges the National Rifle Association but falls short of what the Republican and survivors of the massacre demanded.

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.

The white Republican leaders of the Florida Legislature believe giving guns to school staff members will help protect students.

But black members in both houses warn it could endanger them — particularly children of color, who are often disciplined more harshly than their white peers in school.

Gina Jodan/WLRN

The Florida Senate has agreed to advance a bill that would increase school safety and restrict gun purchases following a rare weekend session in the wake of last month's shooting at a high school that killed 17 people.

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. 

School District of Manatee County

State lawmakers have approved funding for more school resource officers for the 2018-19 school year.  

But some Tampa Bay area school districts aren't waiting to beef up security.

The high school shooting in Parkland is sparking a lot of questions from children who are wondering if something similar could happen at their school.

Office of Gov. Rick Scott

Florida's governor announced plans Friday to put more armed guards in schools and to make it harder for young adults and some with mental illness to buy guns, responding to days of intense lobbying from survivors of last week's shooting at a Florida high school.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

The possibility of stricter gun laws loomed large over the first gun show in Tampa Bay since the Parkland school shooting,

After the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida leaders are considering pouring more money into mental health care and experts in the field released some suggestions on Thursday.

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