Police believed that the security cameras at the site of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting were providing live video, when in fact the cameras were showing tape-delayed footage of the shooter, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
The “video images were delayed 20 minutes and nobody told us that,” said Coral Springs Police Chief Tony Pustizzi in the report.
“Somebody would say, ‘He’s on the second floor,’ and we had guys on the second floor saying, ‘We’re on the second floor, we don’t see him.’ That’s when we figured out there’s a tape delay,” Pustizzi told The Sun-Sentinel.
“Once we found that out, we were able to adjust,” the chief said in the report.
“He went from the third floor to the second floor… they’re monitoring him on camera,” an officer said in a radio transmission recorded by Broadcastify, an audio streaming website at 2:54 p.m. However, a Broward County sheriff’s office timeline showed that shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz had escaped 26 minutes earlier, The Sun-Sentinel reported.
Pustizzi said he did not believe the video delay hurt the police’s rescue efforts. “We got in so fast, we’re pulling them out. It made it harder to identify where the guy was,” he said in the report.
The sheriff’s office timeline said that Cruz began shooting at 2:21 p.m. and left seven minutes later. Law enforcement officers captured him more than an hour after he left the school, The Sun-Sentinel reported.
Police radio transmissions showed that the police could not, at first, get into the security cameras and could not immediately find someone to help them. They also showed that outdated radios left some police transmissions inaudible.
Broward County commissioners in May approved a $59.5 million plan to replace the radio system, but it will not be ready before the end of this year, officials said at the time, The Sun-Sentinel reported.
County Sheriff Scott Israel is facing questions over whether his officers waited for SWAT teams instead of pursuing the shooter, The New York Times reported Wednesday. “That’s exactly what we’re examining… you don’t wait for SWAT, you get in, and you push toward the shooter,” Israel said, regarding active shooter protocols.
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