UPDATE 4:48 pm: Gov. DeSantis suspends Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel immediately. Police Sgt. Gregory Tony instated as new department sheriff.
According to the governor's spokesman, Gov. Ron DeSantis's plane experienced mechanical problems, forcing an emergency landing in St. Petersburg and delaying the announcement he was set to publicly make at 3 pm. The spokesman did not state what the mechanical problem was or what caused it.
His spokesman said the entire crew, which included Attorney General Ashley Moody, Shane Strum, DeSantis' chief of staff and three other members of his executive staff are all fine after the incident and the only negative impact this has had is that it will delay the speech by about 90 minutes. The announcement has now been delayed to 4:30 pm.
Earlier we reported that Gov. DeSantis would be making a much-anticipated speech in Broward County regarding his final decision to either suspend or pardon Sheriff Scott Isreal after the Broward Sheriff Department - particularly Israel - had received a lot of criticism for their disastrous response to the Parkland shooting last year.
People had been calling for Israel's resignation since information surfaced in 2018 that his department had not followed up with dozens of calls reporting the high school shooter, 20-year-old Nikolas Cruz, to their department as a potential social threat for years leading up to the shooting, and during the massacre, his team seemed shockingly unprepared.
All week Gov. DeSantis has been dropping hints toward a decision to suspend Israel for negligence, and it appears as though a new replacement has already been chosen. Sources are claiming that DeSantis intends to name retired Coral Springs Police Sgt. Gregory Tony as Broward’s interim sheriff. If the predictions are correct, this would make Tony Broward County's first black sheriff.
According to the Miami Herald, Israel has been telling staff he believes he will be suspended and is preparing for the worst. Additionally, it appears as some of his colleagues have started to hand in their resignation in response to the drama.
Seventeen people, including staff members and students, were killed during the shooting and another seventeen were injured. Some say the shooting could have been prevented if only the Sheriff in question would have taken the warning calls more seriously.