Florida Mayor Comments On Latest Deadly School Shooting
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Beam Furr is the mayor of Broward County, Fla. He was at the scene of the shooting yesterday, and he told me what he saw.
BEAM FURR: It was pretty chaotic, to be honest. It was - there was policemen from every one of our cities. We have 31 cities in Broward County. And I believe every force was there; the county was there. And as I arrived, the kids were coming out. And the parents were, you know, beside themselves hoping to see their kids - so a very tough place to be.
MARTIN: I understand you are not just the mayor of Broward County, which connects you to this. You were actually a teacher in this district...
MARTIN: ...For more than two decades.
MARTIN: What was going through your mind as you - as you were on those school grounds?
FURR: Well, you know, as a teacher, you're trained to - you know, when situations like this happen, active shooter stuff, you know, you're trained how to protect kids, how to protect yourself. And, you know, all the things that go into your head about lockdown and all that stuff and all the drills we all did all kind of went through my head, you know. And you always - you never think you're going to - it's really going to happen, but, you know, yesterday it did. But it made me think of, you know, those kids who - you know, as a teacher, you try to make sure - you kind of - you're kind of looking out for every kid. And you keep your eyes on those kids who become disconnected, you know. They're out kind of on the fringes.
And as a teacher, you try to bring them in. You try to bring them into the fold, so to speak - in one way or the other, whether it's, you know, finding whatever they're interested in. You know, it might athletics. It might be music. It might be - whatever it be, you try to bring them in. And that's - you know, that's part of our job. That's part of our mission to make sure that, you know, kids become part of the overall community. And, you know, when one gets away, it's just sad.
MARTIN: Authorities do have the young man in custody who is the alleged shooter in this. Did you know his name? Did you - do you recognize him?
FURR: I did not. No, no, I didn't. I didn't teach at that school. It was another school I was teaching at. And, you know - and his is a good example of one that was disconnected. You know, he didn't - you know, he had been a client at some mental health facilities. But then, you know, we're hearing that his mom had died. And, you know, it's one of those ones where, you know, we - you know, we missed the signs. We should have seen some of those signs, I think.
MARTIN: What do you do today? How do you move forward through your day today?
FURR: It's going to be tough. I mean, I think all of us are kind of shaken to our core, to be honest. I'll probably be meeting with parents and then just, you know, kind of going back over what we missed - what can we do better? You know, how do we - how do we find ways to make sure this doesn't happen with other kids and other parents?
MARTIN: Beam Furr is the mayor of Broward County, Fla. It includes the site of the school shooting. So far, 17 lives were taken in that shooting.
Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for your time. And again, our condolences.
FURR: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.