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Experts: Hurricane-Proof Glass Prevented More Deaths in Parkland Shooting

Investigators say the gunman was unsuccessful in creating a sniper’s nest in a third-floor stairwell because the window was equipped with hurricane-proof glass.

Experts: Hurricane-Proof Glass Prevented More Deaths in Parkland Shooting

On Tuesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott said a proposed school security plan would include the installation of bulletproof glass at all public schools.

Hurricane-proof glass at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School may have helped prevent additional deaths in the February 14 shooting that claimed 17 lives.

Investigators believe the gunman attempted to make a sniper’s nest to gun down fleeing students by shooting out a window in a third-floor stairwell. After firing 16 rounds into the hurricane-proof glass which did not shatter, his AR-15 jammed when he attempted to reload, reports CBS.

The gunman then allegedly dropped the weapon and exited the school by blending in with other fleeing students.

Police say the gunman had “brought additional loaded magazines to the school campus and kept them hidden in a backpack until he got on campus to begin his assault.” He was able to fire nearly 150 shots in just seven minutes and had 180 rounds of ammunition left when he decided to run.

Some of the ammunition magazines were also found to have swastikas etched into them, lending credence to earlier reports that the gunman belonged to a white supremacist group.

Florida Governor Rick Scott held a press conference on Tuesday to outline a proposed $500 million plan to improve school security in the state. Some upgrades would include the installation of metal detectors, steel doors, upgraded locks and bulletproof glass.

As an alternative to bullet-proof windows, which can be costly, many schools have turned to adding film to their school’s windows. While window films are not bulletproof or bullet-resistant, they are designed to help hold the glass together when impacted by a strong force, making it more difficult for an intruder to gain entry or create an easy target.

The last day of the state’s legislative session is March 9, putting pressure on lawmakers to make changes. At least five Parkland-related bills are being debated before the Florida House and Senate appropriation committees.

Last week, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) said he was changing his position on banning high-capacity magazines after hearing the gunman’s automatic rifle jammed, according to Business Insider.

“I traditionally have not supported looking at magazine clip size, and after this and some of the details I learned about it, I’m reconsidering that position and I’ll tell you why,” said Rubio. “I believe that there will be evidence that at a key moment in this incident, three or four people might be alive today because of something that this deranged killer did — had to do.”

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Amy Rock is Campus Safety's senior editor. She graduated from UMass Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a minor in Education.

She has worked in the publishing industry since 2011, in both events and digital marketing.

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