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Trump vents at law enforcement over school shooting failures

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlynn to campaign for Montana GOP Senate candidate Trump considering pardon for boxing legend after call from Sylvester Stallone Decline in EPA enforcement won't keep climate bill from coming MORE on Friday vented his frustration over law enforcement failures during a mass shooting at a Florida high school last week that left 17 people dead.

As the president boarded Marine One for a brief flight to Maryland, where he will address a conservative political conference, he lashed out at Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed officer who resigned after reports that he waited outside the school as the shooting took place.

Trump said that Peterson is either a “coward” or that he froze under pressure.

“When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn't have the courage or something happened, but he certainly did a poor job,” Trump said.

“There's no question about that. He was there for five minutes, for five minutes. That was during the entire shooting. He heard it right at the beginning. So he certainly did a poor job. But that's the case where somebody was outside, they're trained, they didn't react properly under pressure or they were a coward. It was a real shock to the police department.”

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Thursday that he was “sick to his stomach” after reviewing video of Peterson waiting outside the school as the shooting took place.

Israel said the officer should have “went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer,” but instead he did not act.

The president on Friday also blasted local law enforcement for failing to act on the dozens of tips that came in warning that the alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz, was a potential danger to the community.

The FBI has also acknowledged it did not follow protocol in following up on a tip about Cruz.

“This person that did this horrible act, he was mentally deranged and everybody knew it for a long period of time,” Trump said. “I guess they had 38 red flags, 39 red flags. You can't do any better than that. Unfortunately, they didn't catch it. They should have caught it. This could have been prevented.”

The shooting has reignited the national debate on gun control.

The president is proposing new gun restrictions aimed at bolstering the background check process and ensuring the mentally ill cannot obtain guns.

He is also advocating for arming school officials who have firearms training so that they can shoot back in the case of an active shooter.