…in the critical moments as first responding deputies were searching for an active shooter on the property of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, a commanding officer on scene apparently ordered some of the initial responders to “stage” and set up a “perimeter” outside — instead of immediately ordering or allowing officers to rush in to neutralize the suspect, Nikolas Cruz.
“It’s atrocious,” a law enforcement source who was on the scene after the shooting told Fox News. “If deputies were staging it could have cost lives.”
The law enforcement source said responding deputies and officers were called to an active shooter scene in which they are trained to immediately “go, go, go” toward the direction of the shooter. “Every second is another life,” the source said.
Fox News has repeatedly reached out to the Broward County Sheriff’s office — which was the commanding agency that day — for comment on the timeline of the shooting and also on the allegations of bad commands from any commanding officer. In an email, a BSO spokesperson wrote that the case remained active and ongoing and that no additional details were being released, per a Florida statute.
According to other police officials (not those involved) said there may be a good reason for the orders, but Broward and state officials will not discuss the situation.
What appears to corroborate all of the sources’ allegations of bad commands is a portion of the February 14 dispatch log obtained by Fox News that appears to indicate there were several orders for crews to stage and form a perimeter. The logs appeared to indicate that at the same time these commands were given, law enforcement still had not located the active shooter and even a responding air crew refused to take off — apparently in fear of being shot down — because it was not established the shooter was in custody.
Timeline (and much more) at link.
The Florida House has subpoenaed responding law enforcement agencies and the Broward County Public schools for records related to the shooting for its own investigation.