Ernest Rospierski, a history teacher from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told the Associated Press he thought the shooting event was a drill at first because was warned earlier that day that a code red drill would be taking place and he believed they would be shooting blanks. He said that the shooter was wearing a mask.
Thomas Holgate, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, said that he heard thuds, but thought that they were blanks. He thought it was a drill because for a year and a half the students had been told that there was going to be a school shooter “drill” that was set to be as real as possible, shooting blanks, with a SWAT team and helicopters.
According to the Miami Herald dated Thursday, February 15, the day after the school shooting, Sheriff Scott Israel reported that some of the victims’ bodies were still in the school’s facilities. He said, “Right now the focus of the FBI and the Broward Sheriff’s Office is on the successful prosecution of this killer and we are not going to leave any stone unturned.”