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Andrew Harnik
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel as he meets with law enforcement officers at Broward County Sheriff's Office in Pompano Beach, Fla., Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, following Wednesday's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The outspoken Florida sheriff whose deputies responded to the Parkland school shooting usually deals with critics head on. But in recent days, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has been mostly silent.

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He is taking heat from Republicans and gun rights activists who believe the sheriff is focusing on guns and not accepting responsibility for failing to stop the school gunman before the shooting — and for his deputies not charging into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

He ducked reporters outside a rally in his honor Thursday and has refused most interview requests. Meanwhile, his conservative critics have taken to the internet and airwaves to blast him.

This contrasts with the days after the Feb. 14 shooting when Israel was lauded for his work and he railed against the "detestable" killer who took down 17 people.