FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Within the minutes after a gunman opened fireplace in a Florida highschool, killing 17, frantic college students and oldsters start flooding 911 with calls.
A deputy on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty campus first thought the loud bangs have been firecrackers however rapidly realized they’re gunshots — but he by no means ran towards them.
Different responding deputies and law enforcement officials desperately tried to type by means of a chaotic scene, deal with the injured, lock down the college and find the shooter.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Workplace on Thursday launched 12 minutes of radio transmissions from its deputies and neighboring Coral Springs police, together with recordings of 10 of the 81 calls its 911 middle acquired throughout the Feb. 14 capturing. The sheriff additionally launched a written timeline laying out how the radio calls correlated with what was seen on unreleased college safety video.
Investigators say video reveals suspect Nikolas Cruz opening fireplace with an AR-15 assault rifle 15 seconds after he enters the college’s freshman constructing, and firing periodically over the subsequent six minutes. Deputy Scot Peterson, the useful resource officer assigned to guard the college, is on the close by administration constructing. Will probably be greater than 90 seconds earlier than he heads towards the capturing. The primary 911 name is available in 68 seconds after Cruz opens fireplace. The primary responding deputies arrive two minutes after that.
The 911 calls got here from college students hiding within the freshman constructing’s lecture rooms and oldsters who have been getting calls and textual content messages from their kids.
The primary calls present the operators’ confusion. A male inside the college, presumably a pupil, whispers, “There’s pictures at Stoneman Douglas, Somebody is capturing up the college at Stoneman Douglas.”
“I am sorry. I can not hear you. What’s occurring?” the dispatcher responds.
“Somebody is capturing up Marjory Stoneman Douglas” he whispers. She nonetheless cannot hear him, “Whats up… hey…hey.”
However quickly a way of order begins to emerge among the many Broward dispatchers and so they begin giving directions on protecting the scholars protected. Simply 13 months earlier, the identical 911 middle had dealt with a mass capturing at Fort Lauderdale’s airport that left six useless.
In a name relayed from close by Boca Raton, lasting greater than 16 minutes, a person reviews data from a mom standing beside him. She’s on one other line together with her daughter who’s in a classroom with only one different lady. They haven’t any closet or enclosed desks to cover behind.
The 911 dispatcher quickly instructs the person to inform the ladies to stay silent and switch off their cellphone ringers in case the shooter is close by.
As the decision drags on, the mom may be heard within the background encouraging the lady, who hears noises within the hallway. “I like you, I like you. It will be advantageous in case you disguise someplace. Are you able to play useless? It is advisable to pretend useless,” the mom tells the lady.
Seconds later, officers burst into the room and the ladies are protected. The mom may be heard telling her daughter, “Inform them to wish, inform them to wish for power.” The 2 ladies are led out and the decision ends.
The operator sighs, “‘Oh my God.”
Outdoors the freshman constructing, Peterson makes his first radio nearly two minutes after Cruz first fired. “Be suggested we’ve attainable, could possibly be firecrackers, I feel we’ve pictures fired, attainable pictures fired,” he tells dispatchers. Investigators say 18 seconds later he took up a place close to the constructing and remained there for a number of minutes. His subsequent transmissions concentrate on getting close by streets and the college shutdown and protecting deputies away from the constructing. Deputies arrange a fringe. Sheriff Scott Israel has mentioned Peterson ought to have charged into the constructing and killed Cruz. Peterson, who has denied wrongdoing, retired relatively than settle for a suspension and investigation.
By now, college students are flooding out of the college. Officers from close by Coral Springs are arriving to help deputies. Quickly, their calls look like extra aggressively assessing what they face.
About this time Cruz discards his jammed gun. His burgundy hoodie from his days as member of the college’s Junior Reserve Officer Coaching Corps permits him to combine into the fleeing mass and get away.
Deputies and officers start discovering their first victims exterior the constructing. A pupil shot within the leg. One other wounded by an entrance, one other within the parking zone. A employees member not shifting.
Eleven minutes after Cruz first fired — 5 minutes after he fled — 4 Coral Springs officers and two deputies enter the freshman constructing. Extra deputies and officers quickly observe. They discover our bodies. They discover frightened youngsters huddling in lecture rooms.
One other mom on a 911 name hears her daughter’s rescue however then exclaims, “Three shot in her room. Oh my God. Oh my God.”
An hour and 19 minutes after the primary pictures have been fired, an hour and 13 minutes after Cruz left the constructing, 47 minutes after Cruz purchased a soda at Walmart, Coconut Creek police officer Michael Leonard turns onto a quiet suburban road a couple of mile south of the college. He spots a teen carrying a burgundy hoodie strolling. He yells at Cruz to get on the bottom.
Related Press writers Ian Mader, Adriana Gomez Licon and Curt Anderson in Miami contributed to this story.