Public warned away from school area for Aug. 4 reenactment of state’s worst school shooting
Image via AP.

Parkland Stoneman Douglas
Live ammunition will be used to simulate best what the Broward County deputy heard during the deadly rampage.


Shots will ring out next week at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School building that’s been largely silent for more than five years since 17 people were killed there — prompting advance notice from school officials.

A planned Aug. 4 reenactment of the state’s worst school shooting prompted Broward County Public Schools Wednesday to warn the public and the media away from the buildings and provide information about mental health resources.

It’s a court-ordered event, a Wednesday news release from the district explains. And it will mean that the high school and neighboring Westglades Middle School will be closed to all students, staff and visitors on the reenactment day.

“District and school leadership understand how difficult this event may be for the entire community,” the official statement says, noting that a website directs people to mental health resources. “Advanced notice of this court-ordered event is being provided to families at all schools within the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High zone so they are aware and can make plans that best fits their needs on the day of the reenactment.”

The sound of gunfire is the point: A reenactment was sought as part of a lawsuit against Scot Peterson, the former Sheriff’s deputy who was recently acquitted of all criminal charges for failing to attempt to stop the shooter on the deadly rampage that also injured 17 people.

To help the community cope, the state-sponsored Eagles Haven Wellness Center, 5655 Coral Ridge Drive, Coral Springs, will be open for special hours from Aug. 4-6, for extra support, the release says.

Live bullets will be used to simulate best what Peterson heard that fateful 2018 Valentine’s Day. The rounds will be fired into a ballistic bullet trap commonly used at gun ranges.

The building, left virtually untouched since the shooting, will be demolished once the legal action is completed. The reenactment would be based on school surveillance videos of the massacre that show second-by-second the actions and locations of Peterson and the shooter during the six-minute attack in which some 140 rounds were fired.

Victims and family members have taken grim tours of the building since the criminal trials ended with the shooter being sentenced to life in prison.

Peterson, 60, insists that echoes prevented him from pinpointing where the shots were coming from and that he would have charged inside if he had known the shooter’s location. He retired shortly after the shooting, but was retroactively fired


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Inquirer

    July 26, 2023 at 10:11 pm

    Will the obnoxious Harvard crisis actor-turned gun grabbing grifter with the world’s most punchable face be back in the closet to reprise his award-winning coming out performance?

  • Maryann

    July 27, 2023 at 11:49 am

    why live ammo?????? wasn’t once enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jackson

    July 27, 2023 at 11:59 am

    This may be the dumbest thing I have heard of and we witness moronic things daily in our government. I’m appalled at the justice system and judge who approved such a measure in our community. This affected everyone and to have this reenactment occur is an utter travesty and abuse of power that directly harms our community once again. Nice job Broward, YOU ABSOLUTELY SUCK!!!!

Comments are closed.


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