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Video and radio problems added to chaos during Parkland shooting

Student
A student writes a message at a makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

"Nearly a half-hour after Nikolas Cruz dropped his rifle and fled Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, police thought they were seeing him live on security cameras [but the] images were tape-delayed" by 20 minutes, reports the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel:

Why it matters: "The Broward School District’s security cameras did not provide real-time video for police, complicating their efforts to track and pin down the shooter."

From the scene:

  • Coral Springs Police Chief Tony Pustizzi: “Somebody would say: ‘He’s on the second floor,’ and we had guys on the second floor saying: ... '[W]e don’t see him.’ That’s when we figured out there’s a tape delay.”
  • "Once inside the freshman building, police ... watched Cruz on camera, seeing him drop his bag near the stairway as sirens blared in the background. ... But by then Cruz was gone, sitting at a McDonald’s about a mile away."
  • "Police communication was hampered by outmoded radios that left some transmissions inaudible. ... Broward County Commissioners in May approved $59.5 million to replace the more than 25-year-old radio system, but it won’t be ready to use until the end of this year."

A reminder of the chaos:

  • "[A]n armed sheriff’s deputy — called a school resource officer — is assigned to the school."
  • "[P]olice were looking for that officer, Scot Peterson, because he 'would be the one to have access to where the cameras are,' according to the police radio broadcast."
  • "Peterson was on the 45-acre campus during the attack but not in the targeted building."
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