DENTON, TX (KLTV) - In the wake of news that several armed law enforcement officers waited outside the high school in Parkland, Florida, during the mass shooting that claimed the lives of 17 people, one North Texas sheriff has made his stance abundantly clear.
Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphee sent an e-mail out to all of his employees and then posted a copy of the letter on the DCSO Facebook page on Tuesday. Since then, the post has been shared almost 18,000 times.
"With the recent tragedy in Florida, I wanted to make clear my policy on responding to an active shooter," Murphee wrote in the letter. "All commissioned deputies, if you respond to an active shooter, you are expected to take immediate action. We do not stage and wait for SWAT; we do not take cover in a parking lot, and we do not wait for another agency."
Murphee told his employees he expects them to go in and do their duty.
"We go in to engage and stop the shooter and save lives," Murphee said in the letter. "If for any reason, you feel you cannot follow this directive, please inform your supervisor, and we will work to get you re assigned."
The Denton County sheriff ended his letter with a Scripture reference.
Citing Romans 13:4, Murphee wrote, "For he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer."
On Feb. 14, Nikolas Cruz, allegedly used an AR-15-style rifle to shoot and kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Davis High School in Parkland, Florida. At least half a dozen other people were wounded in the incident, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.
Cruz, a former student at the high school, was expelled for disciplinary reasons.
Previous story: 17 die in Florida high school shooting