Broward County officers responding to the Parkland shooter were watching 20-minute-old surveillance video from inside the school, believing the gunman was still active when, in fact, he had already left the property, new developments show.
On Sunday, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel boasted about “amazing leadership” as outrage continued to grow at his department’s failure to respond to the 18 warning calls about the Parkland shooter, and the reluctance from officers on the scene to act.
Fox News reports,
Police officers responding to last week’s Florida school shooting thought they were tracking Nikolas Cruz live on surveillance video — but then realized the footage was delayed by nearly 30 minutes because it was rewound, tossing roadblocks into the frantic efforts to capture the 19-year-old shooting suspect.
Responding officers were watching security footage in Broward School District that occurred 20 minutes prior, leaving them in the dark when attempting to look for Cruz in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 13, the Sun Sentinel first reported Wednesday. Cruz was captured in Coral Springs, located about a mile away, more than an hour after the start of the shooting.
Responding officers were heard on radio transmissions at 2:54 p.m. saying they were seeing Cruz on camera going from the third to the second floor. By that time, Cruz had been out of the building for 26 minutes, according to [The Sun Sentinel].
“He went from the third floor to the second floor…They’re monitoring him on camera,” an officer was heard saying on the radio transmission released by Broadcastify. Pustizzi recalled officers attempting to pinpoint Cruz when the shooter wasn’t even in the building.
Listen to audio below
On Thursday, the Broward County School District stated that the high school’s security cameras do play in real time, but they were rewound 20 minutes that day to retrace Cruz’s actions. The error was blamed on a “miscommunication” to the responding officers.
The shooter left the massacre and went to a Wal-Mart store, then a Subway restaurant and a McDonald’s before being apprehended in nearby Coral Springs.
Israel said Thursday his school resource officer Scot Peterson was disciplined with a suspension after being irresponsive to multiple reports of a “school shooter in the making” which resulted in the deaths of 17 people.
Peterson retired amidst his controversy.
"He was pointing his gun at nothing." Student says he watched as @browardsheriff school resource officer Scot Peterson hid behind a staircase during the Stoneman Douglas shooting. @wsvn pic.twitter.com/IWRQorRrcL
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) February 23, 2018
Israel remains in his position and took to CNN to defend himself this Sunday, insisting he would not resign.
“I can’t predict how an investigation is going, but I’ve exercised my due diligence, I’ve led this county proudly as I always have… we have restricted that deputy as we look into it,” Israel said.
Israel was asked about the sheriff’s department ignoring the blatant warning signs and if the shooting could have been prevented if Israel’s department acted. The sheriff made an off-the-wall likening to the OJ Simpson case saying, “If ifs and butts were candy and nuts OJ Simpson would still be in the record books.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper further pressed the sheriff asking him, “At this point sir, do you understand how the public, seeing red flag after red flag… warning after warning… they hear that your office didn’t even initiate a report? How could there not even be a report on this?”
“Well, if that’s accurate Jake, there needed to be a report and that’s what we’re looking into,” Israel responded.
He shifted blame to the now retired officer Peterson, who he said never forwarded vital reports to Homeland Security or the Violent Crimes Unit.
However, the 18 missing reports were safely in Israel’s office, where they remained until it was too late.
Israel shrugged off accusations of his incompetence insisting all officers make mistakes and that shouldn’t reflect on his leadership. He assured Tapper that Peterson and at least 3 other officers who listened to gunfire from the school, rather than neutralize the shooter, would face “consequences.”
Israel said, “We are looking into this aggressively and we’ll take care of it. Justice will be served.”
Israel then seemed to brag about the quality of his department, saying… “Our deputies have done amazing things. In the five years I’ve been sheriff, we’ve taken the Broward Sheriff’s office to a new level. I work with some of the bravest people I’ve ever met.”
He also claimed having no knowledge of the 18 overlooked reports prior to the shooting.
“One person, at this point, didn’t do what he should have done. It’s horrific… the victims here, the families… I pray for them every night. It makes me sick to my stomach,” Israel stated.
In the wake of the possible incompetence, Sheriff Israel received support among people wanting to somehow shift the blame.
Let us reflect on the fact that @realDonaldTrump, who dodged the draft and said avoiding venereal disease in the 70s was his personal Vietnam, has declared the officer at MSD in Parkland, FL a coward for not engaging the shooter. We see you phony.
— Tim Wise (@timjacobwise) February 23, 2018
Parkland student, liberal media darling, and gun control advocate David Hogg appeared to forgive the actions, or lack thereof, of the sheriff’s department, saying “Who wants to go down the barrel of an AR-15, even with a glock?”
David Hogg on deputy who didn't enter school: 'I know that's what these police officers are supposed to do, but they're people, too.' https://t.co/MRq8X7fktb
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 25, 2018
Others expressed disgust with the inaction.
– Parkland murderer’s neighbors, family called Broward Sheriff
– 45 responses at least to murderer’s home
– He messaged threats to kill classmates which is a felony under FL statute
– Assaulted parent and classmates
– Took ballets and knives to school
– Sheriff blames NRA
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) February 26, 2018
I've seen exponentially more condemnation of the NRA, an organization with zero ties to anything or anyone associated with #Parkland, than I have the sheriff & FBI (each of which had ample warning and did nothing) or the person who murdered 17 people.
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) February 23, 2018
Stop making excuses for the coward #Parkland school resource officer.
He should be shamed for the rest of his life. He’s an embarrassment to the badge and uniform.
May his face and name be known so everyone can see what cowardice that allowed 17 to be slaughtered looks like.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) February 23, 2018
Officer Scot Peterson is eligible for full retirement benefits.
feature image via The Sun Sentinel
Are you a thought criminal with a thirst for danger? Get your fill on THE MILO SHOW, airing Monday through Friday 4/3c. Subscribe now at www.dangerous.com/join