US More details released on police response to Parkland massacre

23:06  16 april  2018
23:06  16 april  2018 Source:   msn.com

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Coral Springs Police Officer Tim Burton rushed to get to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High when he heard over his radio there was a gunman there.

But when he got there, he found the school's resource officer "seeking cover" behind a concrete column, he said.

The deputy "advised that I needed to watch my back," Burton wrote in his incident report.

So he took cover in the parking lot, too.

Burton's firsthand account is among the reports released by Coral Springs police on Monday. The department released a total of four pages of reports filed by three officers who responded to the Feb. 14 shooting, in which 17 people were killed and another 17 were wounded.

Burton said he held back during a "brief wait" until officers were told videotape - which was delayed - showed shooter Nikolas Cruz leaving the building before Burton even got there.

Burton wrote in his report that Scot Peterson, the school's resource officer, told him he hadn't heard any gunfire for a few minutes and didn't know where the shooter was.

Burton held back in the parking lot, in case Cruz was hiding there, until other officers from his department plowed inside.

a man wearing a military uniform: Coral Springs Police Officer Tim Burton, a school resource officer at Eagle Ridge Elementary School, talks on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 at the Coral Springs Police Department about his experiences responding to the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.© Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS Coral Springs Police Officer Tim Burton, a school resource officer at Eagle Ridge Elementary School, talks on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 at the Coral Springs Police Department about his experiences responding to the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Then Burton helped rescue victims, including a girl who was shot in the hip who couldn't walk so he carried her to Pine Island Road and handed her off to a deputy. He ran back and helped an officer carry away a second girl who had been shot in the knee.

Police had trouble tracking Cruz partly because officers looking at security footage didn't realize - or didn't tell their colleagues - that the video they were watching was delayed 20 minutes and not live. While they believed they were watching Cruz in the building, he had actually slipped away as students fled.

Even after the gunfire had already stopped, not only was the school resource officer still waiting outside, but another two deputies were in the parking lot, according to the records.

A second officer, Gilbert Monzon, wrote in a report that he saw two sheriff's deputies in the parking lot. He asked them where the shooter was, but they said they didn't know.

The Broward Sheriff's Office released records last week that showed other deputies arrived in time to hear gunshots but did not immediately enter the building where the shooting took place because they said they were unsure where the gunfire was coming from.

Monzon entered the building with other Coral Springs officers anyway, and found one victim on his back. A second victim fell to the floor, in shock, Monzon wrote.

The hallway was "way quiet and full of thick smoke coming from gunfire." The officers entering from another part of the school quickly made plans how to avoid a cross-fire. As they searched for the shooter, Monzon saw "several" dead students in the hallway.

Retired police Chief Tony Pustizzi, who ran the agency at the time of the school massacre, said the reports were "pretty consistent with what we thought."

He blamed the delay - described as a few minutes by Burton - on the sheriff's deputy.

"Responding officers are going to formulate tactical approaches based on the information provided to them as they are en route to a scene," he said Monday.

"It is imperative that the first officer on scene provides the most detailed information available. ... Equally as important, the first officer on scene must make every attempt to neutralize an active threat as quickly as possible."

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

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Source: http://us.pressfrom.com/news/us/-136642-more-details-released-on-police-response-to-parkland-massacre/

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